Meat+Poultry - July 2020 - 38

COVER STORY

and I became head of hog procurement."
From the head of hog procurement,
Malenke took a sales position for another
eight years before settling into operations
as vice president of Sioux Preme in the late
1990s. Then in 2002, Sioux Preme named
him president of the company. Equity firms
invested through the years, and then Perdue
Farms acquired Sioux Preme in 2015 and the
name changed to Perdue Premium Meat Co.
"We went through some acquisitions over
the course of time from private equity folks,
but Perdue was the right fit and had stability
that carried us into the future," Malenke said. "I
was glad to have a bigger team to work, grow
and learn from."
Malenke was named the senior vice
president of pork operations for Perdue
Premium Meat Co.

MAKING MOVES

Tray-packed pork
chops represent one of
many specialty SKUs
produced at the Sioux
Center, Iowa, facility.

38

After roughly a year at IBP, Sioux Preme
called Malenke and offered him a position.
He declined, but a month later Sioux
Preme called back and visited Malenke
and his wife and the offer became more
interesting. Malenke accepted the job in
hog procurement.
"That's when I really started my career in
the meat business, it was 1987," Malenke said.
Malenke's service in procurement for Sioux
Preme lasted about eight years, the last three
as head of hog procurement.
"I started out as a hog buyer in
procurement," he said. "About four or five years
into that stint, my supervisor left the company

MEAT+ POULTRY | 07.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

The steps Malenke took on his way to
operations gave him the skills he needed
to make sure the facility ran efficiently and
profitably. He said the chronological order of the
positions he worked gave him the appropriate
perspective to succeed in operations.
"Understanding exactly where the
livestock was coming from, what it took
to procure pigs, what it takes to sell all the
products we produce from a carcass, and then
to really pull in operationally what it takes to
identify costs and yields, working with USDA
and food safety issues, customer trends and
really looking at how to grow the business,
that was a great order of worship for me,"
Malenke said.
In 1995, Sioux Preme began fabricating its
own pigs after a joint venture with Farmland
Foods ended. Malenke had just started in his
sales role and remembers it as a tough time
for the processor. The market conditions
in 1996 and 1997 were challenging for
processors. Malenke said that challenge began
a change from commodity pork to something
more specialized.
"I think that's really when the realization
came to us as a company that we're not going
to be able to compete with all the big meat
packing companies," Malenke said. "We needed
to figure out how to do something different
than what they were doing, but something that's
going to be meaningful to a customer base."


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Meat+Poultry - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - July 2020

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