A well-known turkey specialist from Belgrade was honored for his many years of service to Minnesota's turkey industry at the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Summer Meeting earlier this month in Red Wing.
Bob Petersen, retired from Willmar Poultry Company, received the 2011 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award is based on several criteria:
-Long-term service to the industry (20+ years).
-Long-term support of the MTGA.
-Well-respected by peers and customers.
-Commitment to enhance Minnesota's turkey industry.
MTGA Allied Committee Chairman Gregg Veldman of Novus International made the awards presentation.
Said Veldman, "This year's recipient was truly a "no brainer" for the MTGA to choose for this award. Bob Petersen is a well-known 'turkey specialist' who loved to build strong relationships with turkey farmers in order to understand and best help them with their turkey management."
Petersen's background in the turkey industry starts with Brookings State College where he obtained a degree in Bacteriology. Early in his career, he worked for Pfizer, which at the time had a turkey diagnostic lab in Willmar, and he diagnosed turkey diseases.
He left Pfizer for Belgrade Feed Company, where he worked as a serviceman and turkey specialist. In fact, Petersen started a diagnostic lab for the company. Belgrade Feed was very successful and at the time had a large percentage of the available feed market in Minnesota.
"Bob was a fierce and well respected competitor at the time to Willmar Poultry Company's Farm Service Elevator (WPC Farm Service Elevator) in Willmar, Minnesota," said Veldman.
Several years later, after Belgrade Feed Company was sold to Cargill, Petersen was eventually hired by WPC Farm Service Elevator, and within a year of his employment, Petersen had secured most of the available Minnesota feed business for WPC.
Petersen's role at WPC Farm Service Elevator was to diagnose disease, discuss turkey management strategies with growers and to sell them feed through FSE. He loved to build strong relationships with the growers in order to understand and best help them with their turkey management. He also loved working hands-on with the birds in the barns and at the lab.
In the early 2000s, Petersen partially retired, working part-time with a handful of clients. He now splits his time between his homes in Belgrade and Arizona.
"Though never a DVM himself, Bob worked very closely with the veterinary community in researching and diagnosing turkey diseases," said Veldman. "On behalf of MTGA, I am proud to honor Bob Petersen with the 2011 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award."