"We offer world-class technical challenges in a small, rural environment, hours awar from major cities."
– Dan Darveaux, Director, Information Systems

IBM 3090 COBOL, Telon, Progress, DB2
Meat processing Medium-sized shop


Hormel manufacturers prepared food and meat products, including canned meats, microwave entrees, chili, beef stew, buffet hams, bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and pepperoni. While a majority of the company's products are sold under the Hormel brand name, other well-known product lines include Dinty Moore, Farm Fresh, Little Sizzlers, Old Smokehouse, and SPAM. Hormel is also a leading producer of turkey and farm-raised catfish.

Founded in 1891, Hormel Foods has 5,000 employees. Publicly-held, company headquarters are in Austin, Minnesota. Revenues are $2.8 billion. Hormel is unionized. Hormel Foods recycles over 14 million pounds of materials a year.



Hormel Foods' range of hardware at corporate headquarters includes an IBM 3090, model 200E mainframe, several AS/400s, and a corporate office LAN with 400 PCs attached in a Novell Netware network. Plants have a variety of PCs and RISC/6000 workstations, running under UNIX. Programming at headquarters is in COBOL, with additional development using the Telon code generator and the Progress fourth generation language and database management system. Additional software used includes DB2, IBM/DB/DC, and TSO.

Hormel Foods employs 30 computer professionals. Job titles include Associate Computer Analyst/Systems Programmer, Computer Analyst/Systems Programmer, Senior Computer Analyst/Systems Programmer, Supervisor, Manager of Data Processing/Technical Support, Director of Information Systems. Recent projects have included the development of a sales information system on the mainframe in DB2/TSO to assist the sales force in tracking sales, presentations, and promotional funds, and the development of an RS/6000, UNIX-based inventory control system developed in Progress. This system runs in the warehouses, using radio-linked computer terminals and laser bar code scanners to track the movement of packets, and providing directions to forklift drivers for storing and retrieving pallets of goods.


Computer professionals work in cubicles in a nonsmoking environment. Standard office hours are 7 AM to 4 PM. Travel to various company locations is infrequent. A 50-hour work week is typical; overtime for professionals is not compensated. Hormel Foods offers good benefits and salaries and a culture geared toward retaining long-term employees.

Hormel Foods observes eight holidays. The company offers two to six weeks of vacation; a comprehensive medical insurance plan; disability, dental, and life insurance; tuition reimbursement; and retirement and profit-sharing plans. A vision care plan, tax-deferred investments, and wellness program are also offered.

Although there have been occasional layoffs in the plants, there have been none in information systems.


Hormel Foods looks for candidates with strong analytical and communication skills. Candidates should have a strong interest in computers, understanding that they are only tools for the business. A Bachelor's degree in a technical discipline is required.

Hormel Foods does hire entry-level computer professionals. Computer professionals at Hormel Foods have from zero to more than twenty years of experience. Half of the staff has less than eight years of experience. The average level of education is a Bachelor's degree. Hormel Foods hires one to two computer professionals a year, generally finding them through college recruiting.


A letter with a resume is preferred.

Mr. Michael MacLean

Manager, Professional Staffing and Recruitment

(507) 437-5611

Hormel Foods Corporation

1 Hormel Place

Austin, Minnesota 55942

Copyright 1995. Carol L. Covin. Covin’s Midwest Computer Job Guide