Washington, D.C. – After 33 years with the National Turkey Federation (NTF), including 17 years as President and Chief Executive Officer, Joel Brandenberger will retire on June 30, 2024. The announcement was made today by NTF Chairman Steve Lykken.

“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 Lykken, 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.”

Lykken said the federation will conduct a thorough, nationwide search to identify a new President and CEO to lead NTF.

Brandenberger thanked the federation’s members and the NTF team for their support.

“No trade association in the food and agriculture industry is blessed with a leadership or membership more dedicated to ensuring their association’s success,” he said.  “While fierce competitors in the marketplace, NTF’s members and leaders pulled together as a united front in advocating for the industry in Washington and promoting turkey products and the industry’s image.”

“I also was fortunate to have an incredible team of professionals who worked tirelessly to fulfill the federation’s mission and goals. They are passionate and dedicated to the belief that NTF, like the industry itself, will always ‘punch above its weight’ every day and in every circumstance.  The unwavering support and hard work of the team and the members has been essential to the success we have enjoyed.”

Brandenberger joined NTF in May 1991 as Director of Public Affairs.  He was promoted to Vice President of Legislative Affairs in 1995 and Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs in 2001 before becoming 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.

About the National Turkey Federation

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for America’s turkey farmers and producers, raising awareness for its members’ products while strengthening their ability to profitably and safely deliver wholesome, high-quality and nutritious food to consumers worldwide. NTF is the sole national trade association exclusively representing the turkey industry; its members account for more than 95 percent of all U.S. turkey production.