Joe C. Nielsen, president and general manager of Moroni Feed Co., has been named chairman of Norbest Inc., the Utah-based cooperative that annually sells some 220 million pounds of turkey.

Nielsen, who has been in the turkey business for 20 years and raises several flocks at his Ephraim operation, will continue in his present positions with Moroni Feed.Norbest is the nation's fifth largest turkey processing and sales organization, representing growers in six states. Moroni Feed's 125 growers raise around 4 million turkeys annually.

Nielsen is a Snow College and University of Utah graduate with a degree in business administration.

He foresees further growth and change in the turkey industry. There has been a steady per capita consumption of turkey meat, he said. Turkey is a relatively low-cost source of protein and is selling well as consumers become increasingly health conscious.

Nielsen projects more processing of turkey products like roasts, steaks, smoked turkey, turkey ham and deli items, as consumers turn away from whole turkeys.

And he predicts that Norbest's sales will double in five years. "The future of the industry seems very promising," he says, "in view of an ever-expanding market and the turkey's competitiveness in comparison with other agricultural products."