A relevant message from Hormel’s past

Published 7:01 am Saturday, December 29, 2018

One of my favorite pieces in our archives collection is an audio recording of George Hormel speaking to company employees in 1941, which was the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding. The tune of the classic song Auld Lang Sine is playing behind George’s rich voice which sets the tone for a message full of reminiscence and meaning.

Though not necessarily a holiday message, George’s words are encouraging and filled with thanks, and I thought you would enjoy the positive message in this holiday season.

“It is certainly a pleasure for me to be able to greet you in this fiftieth year of the business of this company, and I am glad to have this phonograph record, which makes it possible for me to speak directly and personally to you. This particular record was made for you and you alone. It brings my voice to you just as you in turn carry to our customers the voice of those four thousand five hundred people, who by joining their efforts together make the business on which we all depend.

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That little group of us who started together fifty years ago never dreamed then that there would be forty five hundred of us today. The business has grown because we have all worked together and each one of us has done his part. Some working in the plant have devoted their lives to the making and to the improvement and perfection of HORMEL products.

Some have sat over a desk day in and day out figuring, planning and managing.

Yours has been, and is, a great responsibility. You are the one who contacts the customer. You speak to him for all of the rest of us. You sell our effort, our product and our character.

I am happy that I am able to invite you personally to take part in our golden anniversary celebration. I know you will do a good job in your part of the campaign and I hope that for yourself and your family you will get many of those beautiful prizes which have been made available to you on this special occasion.

My best wishes to you as you go out to build your own continued success and the future of this business, which represents the life of you and me and the forty five hundred other persons who are working with us.”

Hearing the voice of George Hormel makes him real, makes him alive and makes his message as relevant today as it was 77 years ago. He was humble and grateful and valued those who worked for him.

Happy New Year to you all.

History Happy Hour: Wedding Fashions and Customs from 1900-1960

  • 5:30 p.m. social, 6 p.m. presentation
  • Monday, Jan. 14
  • Presented by Jaimie Timm and featuring clothing from the Mower County Historical Society collection. Free for members of the HHH, Mower County Hist. Soc, and Friends of the Library.

Austin Wedding & Event Showcase

  • Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20
  • $5 per person