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Hormel to End Turkey Harvest at Barron, Wisconsin, Plant in Favor of Value-Added Processing

Dec. 4, 2023
Jennie-O Turkey Store plant will end turkey slaughter operations in Q2 of 2024 in an effort to right-size the company’s turkey supply chain.

As part of its fourth quarter and full year financials release, Hormel Foods announced it would end turkey slaughter at its Barron, Wis., Jennie-O Turkey Store processing plant in 2024, converting the facility entirely to processing of value-added turkey products. Hormel has targeted the second quarter of 2024 for the end of the turkey harvest operations.

In the initial earnings release, the company said the move supports “a more demand-oriented and optimized turkey portfolio that is better aligned with the changing needs of our customers, consumers and operators, while further decreasing exposure to commodity volatility.”

In the company’s earnings call, Hormel Foods chairman, president and CEO James Snee further explained that the conversion of the Barron facility was “consistent with the goals we laid out in late 2021, when we first announced transformational efforts at Jennie-O Turkey Store.”

That transformation, he continued, was aimed at building a more demand-oriented and optimized turkey portfolio, better aligned to customers, consumers and operators, and right-sizing the company’s turkey supply chain.

“We are also committed to optimizing the Jennie-O Turkey Store system, including freeing up plant space to support growth across the broader Hormel Foods portfolio,” Snee added. “The Barron plant is expected to support high-demand and high-growth product lines across all areas of the organization.”

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.