The Iowa Poultry Association and Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota merged on July 1st into the new North Central Poultry Association (NCPA) with headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa.

Kevin Stiles led the former Iowa association and is now the executive director of the new entity.
“A little over two years ago, the chicken and egg Association of Minnesota reached out to us and asked if we would be willing to provide management services to the organization. And after two years, we were in the midst of a strategic planning session, and during that session that was raised, they would have interest in at least pursuing and exploring a merger opportunity,” Stiles explains. He says after “a couple of years of dating” the boards and members elected to move forward with a merger.

He says there already was a lot of cross-state activity. “A lot of our members, our members that have a presence in both states, both from a producer standpoint, but also from an allied member standpoint and hatchery standpoint,” he says. “We have so many similarities between the states when it comes to poultry and egg production.”

When it comes to the age-old question of which comes first — the chicken or the egg — it depends on which state you are in. “Iowa is the number one egg-producing state. Minnesota ranks usually in the top 10. Minnesota has a little larger broiler presence than Iowa. So we’re starting to see more and more broiler production moved to the Upper Midwest closer to where the corn and soybeans are produced,” he says.

Both states saw some impact from avian influenza, with the impact on Iowa impacted on laying hens. He says it was not close to what Iowa saw in 2015. “We feel that perhaps the steps that were taken over the last seven years improving biosecurity have really made a difference in controlling the spread within the state,” Stiles says “We saw little to no evidence of any lateral transmission or farm to farm transmission.”  Stiles says there has already been a lot of sharing of information between states — but there is more ahead with the merger.

“Whether it’s from an association standpoint or from a production standpoint,” according to Stiles. “And perhaps during our educational conferences, more and more of that learning can have can be shared across with each other’s membership.” The Iowa Poultry Association was established in 1929. The Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota was founded in 1994 as the Broiler and Egg Association of Minnesota (BEAM), and prior to 1994, it was called the Minnesota Poultry Industries Association.