John Brunnquell's Egg Innovations gives back to youth

Gloria Hafemeister

WEST ALLIS – Every time bidders at the annual award-winning Meat Products auction at the Wisconsin State Fair set a record, it costs John and Cathy Brunnquell and their company, Egg Innovations, money.

John Brunnquell has made significant contributions to the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, both personally and through his company Egg Innovations.

Brunnquell, a past chairman of the annual event at the Wisconsin State Fair, says that’s just fine with him. He made the offer years ago to encourage bidders to help support his favorite organization — 4-H.

Brunnquell made the offer to match any money on bids over the existing record price several years ago as a way to encourage bidders to increase their contributions to an organization that has been very important to him and his family.

Last fall at the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation’s Hall of Fame Gala, Brunnquell was recognized, along with Egg Innovations as a major partner and contributor to the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.

“We are truly grateful for the support of generous partners, like Egg Innovations,” says Brenda Scheider, Director of Development for the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. “Our partners help 4‑H create cutting-edge, relevant programs for young people to learn real-world skills that will prepare them for the challenges of today and tomorrow, moving communities, the state, our county and the world forward in ways no other youth organization can.”

The Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, based in Madison, WI, provides essential funding for 4-H programs throughout Wisconsin. By partnering with individuals, corporations and foundations, the Foundation supports the nearly 150,000 youth and more than 22,000 volunteers who take part in various 4-H leadership, developments, and community-building activities throughout the state.

Brunnquell says, “Egg Innovations is proud to support 4-H as a place to develop tomorrow’s leaders.”

4-H fuels his passion

He credits his experience as a 4-H member in Ozaukee County for the leadership and project skills that led to his success as the president of Egg Innovations, the largest free range egg company in the United States, with over 650,000 free range egg-producing chickens. He has been a leader in introducing cholesterol-monitored eggs and holds a patent for cholesterol reduction in eggs.

As an active Ozaukee County 4-H leader, he developed their largest fundraiser, the 4-H Haunt. As a Wisconsin 4-H Foundation Board member he has led efforts to raise funds to help youth, working at events, and making his own personal donations.

Brunnquell is a third generation farmer and entrepreneur.

“We're proud to be family owned and operated. Our farming roots go back over 100 years to the Brunnquell homestead founded in 1913 at Port Washington,” he says.

He has spent his entire career in the egg industry, founding Egg Innovations in the 1980’s. He also holds a patent for his development of reduced cholesterol, low fat eggs.

He says he saw early on that the more natural you made a hen’s environment, the happier and more productive they were.

He is board member or officer multiple industry associations, including the Organic Egg Farmers of America.