Revolutionizing Through Regenerative Farming: The Extraordinary Vision of Egg Innovations

Over a century of history precedes Egg Innovations, which has its headquarters in Warsaw, Indiana. Egg Innovations strives to provide premium eggs from humane care and sustainable farming, with regenerative egg farming as its primary focus. They believe that naturally raised free-range and pasture-raised hens produce the best eggs. They envision combating climate change in the long run with regenerative farming practices. They collaborate with local farmers to produce premium eggs from healthy, happy chickens. Egg Innovations has become a leading egg industry player due to its extensive research investments in animal behavior and commitment to letting chickens be chickens.

Striking Balance Between Wellness of Chickens & Success of The Company

John Brunnquell, Ph.D., a third-generation farmer and pioneer behind Egg Innovations, has revolutionized the family’s centennial farming business.

John launched Century Acres Eggs, Inc. in the mid-1980s and shifted to organic eggs by 1990. Under his leadership, the company was rebranded as Egg Innovations, LLC in 1999, where he continues as Founder, President, and CEO. John’s commitment to the “Chickens. People. Planet.” mission has led to sustainable success by challenging industrial norms and responding to consumer demands to identify new opportunities. His vision led Egg Innovations to become the first U.S. company committing to in-ovo sexing technology, avoiding male chick culling and setting new industry standards in humane care. In the U.S., where market demand drives business, Egg Innovations leads in animal welfare, deploying in-ovo sexing technology to foster more ethical egg production practices.

John Brunnquell emphasizes humane care as the foundation of Egg Innovations. The move to in-ovo sexing technology marks a significant step toward ethical practices, with Egg Innovations at the forefront, welcoming a potential market shift. This technology allows Egg Innovations to extend its humane care mission, integrating ethical practices throughout the egg production lifecycle and reinforcing its commitment to “Chickens. People. Planet.” Additionally, Egg Innovations has been named the 2024 Ethical Farming Company of the Year and Most Sustainable Egg Farming Business 2023 – USA. Egg Innovations leads the industry in humane practices and regenerative agriculture, providing certified ethical eggs through a network of over 100 family farms, promoting better animal welfare and sustainable farming.

Regenerative Farming Practices at Egg Innovations

John aims to exceed cage-free standards ensuring hens enjoy natural freedoms, backed by American Certified Humane® and sustainable, regenerative farming certifications. Egg Innovations is eyeing expansion to fulfill rising demand for its top-tier Helpful Hens eggs, leveraging regenerative agriculture to uphold their ESG mission. This approach promotes organic production synergized with regenerative practices to bolster ecological balance and biodiversity, making Helpful Hens a leading example of sustainable egg production.

By partnering with family farmers, Egg Innovations manages extensive pastures, furthering their mission through regenerative and organic practices to produce eco-friendly eggs. This collaboration with farmers emphasizes soil restoration and environmental rejuvenation, exemplified by diverse planting and carbon sequestration efforts that benefit both the chickens and the ecosystem. John highlights the transformative potential of regenerative farming by combining scientific rigor with practical applications to enhance ecosystems. Through strategies like pasture rotation and educational outreach, Egg Innovations champions soil restoration as a core component of their regenerative farming journey.

Changeover from Conventional to Pasture-Raised and Free Range Egg Farming

John, who grew up in Wisconsin engaging with 4-H and studying agronomy at UW-Madison, experienced a paradigm shift after visiting a cage-free barn post-graduation. This encounter challenged his traditional views on animal farming, propelling him to question industry norms. Reflecting on the experience, John said, “That kind of shattered everything I thought I knew,” pushing him to reevaluate his long-held beliefs.

In the early ’90s, amid egg industry debates, John explored a middle path, skeptical of both pro-cage and anti-animal agriculture extremes. His goal was finding an ethical egg farming method, leading him to challenge established practices and expand his knowledge.His research convinced him of the importance of raising animals in environments that cater to their natural behaviors. John’s innovation to hen care surpassed conventional cage-free standards, which often still restrict outdoor access. This allowed him to embrace pasturing to meet the five natural behaviors hens have.

Solid Connections with Family Farmers

Egg Innovations prides itself on fruitful, long-standing relationships with family farmers, benefiting everyone involved. Their care for chickens and support for farmers through an expert team are pillars of these partnerships. Moreover, John emphasizes the essence of true partnership over mere contractual agreements, focusing on a shared purpose and making an impactful difference. “Our partnership philosophy prioritizes the farmers, ensuring it’s more than just words. It means providing a living wage, professional respect, and clear expectations,” says Brunnquell.

Egg Innovations collaborates with over 100 Midwest farms, from Wisconsin to Kentucky, emphasizing animal welfare and a family-oriented farming model.

John, leveraging his vast experience, has innovated hen housing and care, enhancing egg quality. His passion for improvement drives the company ethos. By aligning hen rearing with their natural behaviors, he has set new industry standards with Blue Sky Family Farms, demonstrating cost-effectiveness and prioritizing animal welfare and quality produce. Recognizing animals’ innate behaviors, John ensures environments that cater to these, believing in the welfare equals quality principle. Chickens enjoy ample space for perching, scratching, socializing, dust bathing, and pasturing. This philosophy underpins the belief that “healthy, happy chickens lay delicious eggs,” encompassing a holistic approach to farming for the benefit of all involved.

Through perseverance and innovation, John tested seven designs to perfect a structure supporting chicken instincts, thus embodying a pioneering spirit in agricultural practices.

Differentiating Egg Innovations from Other Egg Producers

Egg Innovations stands out as the industry’s most third-party-certified company, demonstrating its unparalleled commitment to quality through rigorous external audits. Producing over a million eggs daily, they offer more than 50 private-label products and two major brands nationwide. Under the direction of committed family farmers, they preserve farming heritage by implementing regenerative techniques that improve soil quality and promote a sustainable future.

As a leading producer of 100% Free-Range and Pasture-Raised eggs, they set high standards grounded in scientific research, spotlighting their innovative approach to regenerative farming—a testament to their commitment to ethical animal treatment and environmental care.
Their vision for a sustainable future is deeply rooted in soil health, propelled by intense dedication towards regenerative agriculture.

The Academic Background of John Brunnquell in Avian Ethology: A Determinant

Egg Innovations benefits from John Brunnquell’s academic background, leading the industry by adopting innovative technologies and approaches to enhance productivity in flocks. His dedication and expertise inspire new industry standards and thought leadership, propelling the sector forward.

John Brunnquell, a pioneer in the industry, tirelessly advocates for chicken welfare, driven by his passion. His contributions across various committees, including the farmer advisory committee, and animal welfare task force, significantly influence methods for maintaining organic integrity and improving poultry feed. As a fervent advocate for animal welfare and organic standards, John’s influence as a vocal member and mentor is undeniable.

John’s impactful leadership since the 1990s has been critical in advocating for animal welfare in organic poultry farming.

Under his guidance, challenging corporate norms, he prioritized outdoor access for chickens, contributing significantly to the industry’s evolution. His recent efforts with the Organic Trade Association have been instrumental in advancing the USDA’s new Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards, ensuring transparency and certifier verification for consumers. John’s insistence on Egg Innovations’ adherence to the highest certification standards showcases his belief in rigorous third-party oversight. His commitment to exceeding certification requirements aims to secure the best possible outcomes.

Perceptive, Evidence-Based Method for Egg Innovations

John excels in identifying what consumers need in specialty eggs early on and filling market gaps. He innovated lower cholesterol eggs through his Master’s research, earning a patent for a diet that naturally reduces egg cholesterol. With extensive experience, John envisions broader horizons, exploring new opportunities for Egg Innovations. The company is currently partnering with NutraMaize and Purdue University on a USDA-funded project to combat heat stress in poultry. John highlights the importance of the project with NutraMaize and Purdue University, focusing on combating heat stress to improve animal welfare and profitability for producers like Egg Innovations.

The Remarkable Growth of Egg Innovations Under John Brunnquell’s Leadership

John Brunnquell, the company’s founder, embraces risk-taking to propel progress and innovation. His approach involves continuous learning and refining, always aiming for calculated decisions that challenge the status quo.
John fosters growth and innovation by offering guidance and sharing his industry expertise, assisting others to overcome obstacles like avian influenza and operational challenges.

“I’m always ready to offer advice. I engage with college students, contribute to our fraternity’s alumni board, and am committed to youth leadership development,” he mentions. “Additionally, I’m involved with the S2G investment network, where I connect with various companies for mutual learning and mentorship opportunities,” he says.

John believes in the power of perseverance, noting, “Great people never give up”. We are committed to the same promise we’ve kept for the last 25 years to help make the world a better place for Chickens, People and the Planet.”

Egg Innovation

Founder & CEO: John Brunnquell, Ph.D.

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Egg Innovation
Founder & CEO: John Brunnquell, Ph.D.

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