Hormel celebrates employees during difficult period; hands out profit sharing checks

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Over two years removed from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re still comparing things to normal. For Hormel Food Corps. employees that “normal” came in the form of a fully fleshed out distribution of the annual profit sharing checks on Wednesday.

The event was canceled entirely in November of 2020 because of the pandemic and only a walk-through event was held in 2021. However, this year, employees enjoyed a full program that included a video dedicated to them and a rundown of stats from the year before that reflected the successes of 2022.

“The last couple years have been difficult,” said Plant Manager Kari Pollak early Wednesday morning. “A little different for us … you continued to deliver.”

Standing out among the stats Pollak gave was the amount of product shipped out in 2022 — 1.4 billion pounds worth.

“The employees have been tremendous,” Pollak said after this presentation, one of many she would give throughout the day. “We’ve had unprecedented demand and they stepped up to the challenge. Now that we have supply chain challenges, again they’ve stepped up. They’ve delivered. They’re here every day delivering products we need.”

Employees in Hormel plants from around the nation, who have been with the company for at least a year, are eligible to receive a profit sharing check.

Over the last 10 years, a total of $14 to $17 million annually has been distributed.

This is the 84th year of profit sharing and Ken Lindberg has been with the company for the past 40 of those years. For Lindberg, the check he receives the day before Thanksgiving has become as much a part of the tradition as the meal itself. 

“I’ve done this 40 times and it’s been a part of the holiday with the turkey and pumpkin pie,” he said with a smile. “Everybody loves getting a check. It’s been a nice experience.”

Meanwhile, both Tyler Robertson and Moses Garcia are each among the employees receiving a check for the first time and both were looking forward to the extra money heading deep into the holiday season.

“It’s just awesome,” Robertson said. “It’s just perfect to get that extra money to spend on Christmas or whatever.”

Garcia on the other hand said he had the money earmarked for more than just Christmas.

“I recently bought a house and I have some remodeling projects going on there,” he said, adding, “We always have to take care of Christmas, right? Especially this time of the year, we have a lot of stuff to do and a lot of stuff to buy.”

While employees enjoy the extra bump at the end of the year, Pollak said that this profit sharing check is just another way to say “thank-you” to the employees.

“It’s a great way to say thank-you,” she said. “Our team works so hard every day, day in and day out and helps make our company successful so it’s great they get to share in the profits.”