CEO: Jeffrey Ettinger
Headquarters: Austin, Minnesota

Essay Contest Building Partnerships

Hormel Foods Corporation understands the value and importance of diversity in all facets of life. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the embodiment of those important ideals. In an effort to promote his legacy to future generations, Hormel Foods, in conjunction with its Hormel African American Employee Resource Group (HAARG), sponsors an annual Martin Luther King Essay Competition.

This competition is open to elementary schools, particularly in areas where Hormel Foods operates its plants, warehouses and sales offices. The 2016 competition featured 16 schools and nearly 700 students from various across the country.

The contest theme is What Dr. Martin Luther King Means to Me. School administrators select one grade level at their school and invite those students to submit an essay explaining what Dr. King means to them. Once essays are submitted, teachers work alongside Hormel to select the five best from each class.

A Hormel representative visits the schools at the end of January each year, for a student assembly opening with engaging the students with facts regarding Dr. King.
Then the representatives share with students what Dr. King means to them and the impact he’s had on their life experiences.

Besides promoting Dr. King’s legacy, the goals of Hormel’s Annual Martin Luther King Essay Contest include encouraging students to work toward goals, providing exposure to minority professionals in corporate America, and creating a lasting partnership between Hormel Foods and school systems for mentoring and support opportunities.