Our History

More than 70 years of innovation

In 2001 Jennie-O Foods and The Turkey Store Company merged under Hormel Foods Corporation to become the brand you know today—Jennie-O Turkey Store. What began as the visions of two entrepreneurs has turned into one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of turkey products.

The vision for today’s brand can be traced back to our founding fathers—Earl B. Olson and Wallace Jerome.

Earl B. Olson, Founder of Jennie-O Foods
Earl B. Olson is considered an icon in the turkey business. His tireless efforts and forward thinking helped propel Jennie-O Turkey Store and the turkey industry to what it is today.

1940: Earl starts raising turkeys while managing a small creamery.
1949: Earl purchased his first turkey processing plant, Farmer's Produce Company, in Willmar, Minnesota.
1950: Dairy and other poultry products are phased out to focus solely on turkey.
1953: Earl converts Farmer's Produce to a USDA-inspected turkey plant and names the brand Jennie-O®—after his daughter, Jennifer.
1954: Jennie-O purchases a second plant and seeks international distribution.
1963: Earl's son, Charles, joins the sales staff.
1971: Jennie-O becomes Jennie-O Foods.
1973: The Willmar Avenue plant and corporate office are built to accommodate expanding processing capabilities.
1974: Charles becomes president of Jennie-O.
1984: Jennie-O Foods is among the first to develop the turkey hot dog, using a top-secret seasoning recipe and a custom-built, continuous oven stretching 100-feet long.
1986: Jennie-O Foods becomes part of Hormel Foods Corporation.

Wallace Jerome, Founder of The Turkey Store Company
Wallace Jerome is remembered as a visionary who made countless contributions to the innovation of the turkey industry.

1922: At age 13, Wallace begins raising turkeys.
1941: Wallace founds The Turkey Store Company, an early leader in the industry.
1951: Wallace purchases a second plant and names it Badger Turkey Industries. This facility is the first federally inspected, cooked-turkey processing plant in Wisconsin.
1964: Badger Turkey Industries becomes Jerome Foods.
1974: Wallace’s son, Jerry, joins the company as executive vice president.
1980: Jerry is named president of The Turkey Store Company.
2001: The Turkey Store Company becomes part of Hormel Foods Corporation.

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