By Stan Maddux
HAMILTON, Mich. – Michigan Allied Poultry Industries (MAPI) is looking for a new leader to replace the one credited with giving producers and the organization more of a voice at the state and national levels.
Allison Brink has been executive director of MAPI since 2016.
Brink is stepping down to pursue expanding her agricultural consulting operation and devote more time to other family owned businesses involved primarily in agriculture.
“I love working for farmers and I love being their advocate and this really was a joy to do all of this,” she said.
The position was part-time when Brink, the mother of four children, was asked to become executive director. Her success at growing the organization requires the position be full-time by whoever fills her seat.
“Allison has transformed MAPI from a modest, family farmer contributing organization into one with clout and influence in the state agriculture community,” said Mat Stutzman, president of the MAPI board of directors.
“She is an advocate and a true believer in Michigan’s family farmer, and her leadership placed Michigan at the forefront of the nation’s poultry industry,” he said.
Stutzman said among her more specific accomplishments was successfully navigating MAPI through significant changes in the egg, broiler and turkey industries and Michigan taking a leading role copied by states across the country on cage-free eggs.
Brink was also praised for guiding the state through this year’s outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and supporting producers during devastating COVID-19 related shutdowns and supply chain disruptions.
“She leaves MAPI stronger than when she arrived,” Stutzman said.
MAPI is a non-profit statewide trade organization representing Michigan’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers.
Brink is a native of Caledonia, Mich., in the western part of the state. She received a degree in crop and soil sciences from Michigan State University prior to becoming a sales agronomist with Caledonia Farmers Elevator. She started her independent consulting practice in 2005 and had 15 years of experience in Michigan agriculture when she became executive director at MAPI.
The executive director reports directly to the MAPI board, consisting of family farmers and processors for the past 80 years.
Stutzman said responsibilities of the job include developing and implementing a strategic plan and a sustainable financial plan, along with establishing priorities for programs.
Other responsibilities of the executive director include overseeing all aspects of the group’s daily operations, which include fund development, events and marketing, along with working with staff, constituents and contract partners.
Challenges identified for her replacement include addressing new regulations for farmers and producers and ensuring Michigan continues to be a leader in the agricultural supply chains.
“The next executive director will be our guide for the future,” Stutzman said.
Interested applicants can find the full job description on the MAPI LinkedIn page and may submit a resume and cover letter to email@example.com by Oct. 19.
MAPI also represents Michigan’s young stock network of breeders, hatcheries and pullet growers. Poultry producers in the state formed the organization in 1940 to work together on issues facing the industry.
The structure of the organization in Hamilton, about 30 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, and its mission remains the same today.
Brink grew up on a farm raising a few thousand head of pigs and some beef cattle. Her hang out was the local coop where her father worked at the manager.
“I’m just really grateful and proud to work for such great people and to be able to have bolstered the association,” she said.