Joel Brandenberger Receives NTF Lifetime Achievement Award

Published on March 12, 2024

Joel Brandenberger Receives NTF Lifetime Achievement Award

As longtime members of the National Turkey Federation, we congratulate Joel Brandenberger as the recipient of NTF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Read on to learn more about Joel’s career highlights and a recap of the award ceremony.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) and its members congratulate Joel Brandenberger, NTF President & CEO, as the recipient of the 2024 NTF Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brandenberger received the award on Feb. 24 during a ceremony at NTF’s 2024 Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. Steve Lykken, 2023 NTF Chairman, presented Brandenberger with the award along with several esteemed industry leaders and CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett, a longtime friend of Brandenberger. Several family members, including his wife, Susan, were present along with close friends and former colleagues.

During the presentation, Garrett said: “Joel was my first friend in Texas, and what we all know about Joel is that he is a good and decent person; he is reliable as the day is long. And if someone was to ask me, ‘Major, name the person in your life who if you had something that had to be done on a specific date and time, who would that person be?’ and for me, that person would be Joel Brandenberger.”

Former NTF President Alice Johnson shared: “I have known Joel for all of my professional life, and he is as committed and a hard-working person as you’ll ever want to know. During my time at NTF as both a staff person and a member, I learned to appreciate how hard he works and all he does. I have also had the chance to have Joel as a friend and there’s a lot of jokes and stories I could tell about Joel, but I am thankful for him and his wife, Susan, for helping me both professionally and personally through a lot of difficult times and a lot of fun times.”

Additionally, 2006 NTF Chairman Mike Briggs said: “When we were looking for the next person to lead NTF, I worked with the Board of Directors to promote Joel and it’s been a very good thing ever since. Joel now has worked on his seventh Farm Bill, which is incredible. He has also been involved with every major program that the industry has created and taken part in. He has been a good friend, I’m very proud of what he has accomplished, and I am also proud I have been able to be a part of it and I wish him luck.”

Brandenberger joined NTF in May 1991 as Director of Public Affairs and announced his retirement in 2024 after 33 years at NTF, including 17 years as President & CEO of the organization. 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.

Congratulations from the Hybrid team on this important milestone!

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