By: Hannah Dressen
Hormel Foods Company is located in southeastern Minnesota in a small town called Austin. Hormel Foods was founded in 1891 and has grown to be a very large company with about 40 plant locations around the U.S.. It’s business divisions expand to grocery products, refrigerated, specialty, and international foods. Some of their brands include Skippy, Muscle Milk, Wholly Guacamole, Herdez, Chi-Chi’s, Dinty Moore, SPAM, House of Tsang, Hormel Chili, Stagg Chili, and the newly acquired Applegate.
This past summer was the largest group of interns that Hormel has had so far, with 50 students total. About 35 interns were located at the Hormel Foods headquarters in Austin with the rest scattered across the country in various plants or sales offices. The interns ranged all across the board from marketing and sales to accounting and production management. There are two positions in Research and Development and mine was a newly added position with the Chef’s Development group. I don’t think that I could say enough good things about this internship! Hormel does an exceptional job with their program, involving us right at the beginning into their company values and family atmosphere. Every worker was friendly and would go out of their way to help me with any problems or questions that I had.
The group that I was working with had so much knowledge and experience that I was constantly learning new things every single day. Right away in the first week I got involved with a food show in Atlanta, Georgia and was flown down to cook and hand out samples with other product developers in my group. My supervisor also made this correlate with a plant trial that was going on at the same time, so I had the opportunity to tour one of their plants and observe several line trials on the same trip. I truly received a “Hormel” experience in that my internship covered multiple areas of research and development. I was able to observe and put on my own product cuttings, customer presentations, attend several line trials and tour multiple production plants, create and develop products, conduct technical ingredient testing, work with the retorting system and production machinery, and experience other groups in their large R&D department. Not to mention that the group I worked with was loads of fun! They definitely made my internship a very fun experience. I am very grateful for everything I learned this past summer and consider it one of the most valuable aspects of my college education.