Meat+Poultry - August 2018 - 18

COVER STORY

Rupp divides his time
between his office in Dakota
Dunes, South Dakota,
and visiting the three beef
plants he oversees.

18

carpentry. That's my outlet, I guess you'd say."
He even worked as a carpenter as a side hustle
back early in his career at the beef plant. From
roofing to deck building to pouring concrete,
Rupp had a gift and a love for construction and
with a more predictable schedule, he picked up
plenty of jobs requiring his expertise.
When he was given the chance to take a
promotion that didn't require hours of cutting
meat at the plant, Rupp had to make the
difficult decision to give up his extra job as a
carpenter to focus on his career. The stepping
stone into management began with Rupp
being given the chance to start up a program
for training new workers. This would include
teaching new employees how to use knives,
sharpening knives and any skills specific to the
part of the plant they were hired to work in. As
one of the first 12 trainers in this new initiative,
Rupp found himself bored with the job after
about six months. "It wasn't moving fast
enough," he says, "so I went into a supervisor
position," which was anything but boring. The
fast and furious pace of this role challenged
Rupp. It taught him to respect the supervisors
as some of the hardest-working employees in
the plants to this day.
"That was a jolt to the system," he recalls
of the rigorous and demanding work. After
working as a supervisor for about nine months,
Rupp transitioned to what was known as a

MEAT+ POULTRY | 08.18 | www.meatpoultry.com

floater, filling in for other supervisors and
working on special projects. As he pursued the
next rung of the corporate ladder, which was
to be a general foreman, he was required to
work as a training coordinator. It was then he
learned something about himself and his skill
set. "I'm a lot better at training people on how
to cut meat than I am in a classroom training
environment," he says, and at about the time
he realized this, a night-shift general manager
position became available, which he eagerly
stepped into. The transition, he says, was
natural and comfortable.
In 1999, he applied for the operations
manager position at the plant and got it. That
was when he had to stop the side hustle. The
Finney County plant wasn't growing much at
that time, so Rupp moved to the mammoth
Dakota City, Nebraska, plant just after Tyson
acquired IBP in early 2001. It was a lateral
move to be the operations manager there with
the plan to take over as general manager in two
years, filling the position of a retiring GM.
The transition wasn't jarring from a volume
standpoint, as both plants were about the same
in terms of operating capacity. For a variety
of reasons though, "the first year here was the
toughest of my career," as he adjusted to a new
plant in a different state, working with new
employees after uprooting his wife and family
to live in a community where they didn't know


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - August 2018

http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_07_11
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2018_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2018_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2018_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2017_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2015_01_01_mp
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2014_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2012_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2011_01_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2010_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2010_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2009_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2008_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2007_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2006_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2005_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_03_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2004_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2003_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2003_10_01
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