Longtime President and CEO of National Turkey Federation to Retire in June

Oct. 5, 2023
Joel Brandenberger has led the turkey industry trade association for 17 years and been with the NTF since 1991.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) has announced that its longtime leader, president and CEO Joel Brandenberger, will retire on June 30, 2024. Brandenberger has spent 33 years with the NTF and 17 years as president and CEO. The association will conduct a search to identify a replacement for Brandenberger.

Brandenberger joined NTF in May 1991 as director of public affairs and was promoted to vice president of legislative affairs in 1995, then senior vice president for legislative affairs in 2001. He became NTF’s fifth CEO in December 2006.

A native of Houston, Brandenberger is a distinguished alumnus of Texas Tech University, where he graduated in 1982 with a journalism degree. Prior to joining NTF, he was a newspaper reporter and editor before working for legislative offices in the Texas Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. He and his wife, Susan, plan to spend retirement at their homes in Florida and Utah.

“On behalf of the NTF Executive Committee, board of directors and membership, I would like to thank Joel for his decades of service to the industry,” said Steve Lykken, NTF chairman and president of Jennie-O Turkey Store. “He took over as CEO shortly before the Great Recession, and he led the federation through that crisis, two major outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza, the Covid-19 pandemic, significant food safety and animal health regulatory changes, renewable fuels legislation that drastically altered industry input costs, trade disruptions and the emerging carbon dioxide crisis. I can’t imagine a more eventful tenure as an association CEO, and we are grateful for Joel’s leadership.”

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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