Weather Forecast


Editorial: Huisinga, Norling deserve honors

Willmar Poultry leaders Ted Huisinga and Ray Norling were among the Minnesotans recently honored with the University of Minnesota’s 2013 Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture.

It is a well-deserved honor for both longtime agribusiness leaders in the Willmar community. They were honored for their contributions in food production.

The annual Siehl awards recognize outstanding contributions to the production of food and alleviation of hunger in three categories: agribusiness, knowledge and production.

Both Huisinga and Norling grew up in the family business, Willmar Poultry Company. Today, the company’s hatchery is one of the most productive in the country, producing 45 million eggs and hatching 30 million poults annually.

The company has now evolved into 12 affiliated companies. Two of those companies purchased the former Willmar Regional Treatment Center and redeveloped the location and buildings into the MinnWest Technology Campus, a private initiative focusing on biotechnology, genetics, engineering and agricultural business developments in west central Minnesota.

The MinnWest site also houses three of the company’s related businesses: Nova-Tech Engineering, PALS and Epitopix.

Overall, Willmar Poultry Company now employs more than 1,500 people and conducts business on six continents.

Both Huisinga and Norling have also worked as industry leaders for decades. Huisinga volunteered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Poultry Improvement Plan and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Norling has provided leadership for businesses in the company. Both have served as past presidents of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

These two Willmar businessmen have provided leadership and development, bringing long-term success to their businesses and industry. Their outstanding contributions have long benefited the Willmar community and west central Minnesota.

And, most importantly, they continue to proudly make Willmar and west central Minnesota their business home. They deserve our appreciation.