KANSAS CITY, MO. – Gary Malenke, senior vice president of pork operations for Perdue Premium Meat Co., formerly known as Sioux Preme Packing Co., has worked with hogs in one form or another for the majority of his career, well over 30 years. This year, Malenke received MEAT+POULTRY’s 2020 Operations Executive of the Year Award. The MEAT+POULTRY publishing staff chose Malenke for the ninth annual award from its database of processors and suppliers in recognition of his dedicated pursuit to operational excellence, his understanding of an ever-changing industry and ability to shift, pivot and succeed.

A native of Northwest Iowa, Malenke attended college in Iowa, studied agriculture and, with the exception of a first job with a feed company, has spent his entire career in the pork industry. Malenke has worked in procurement and managed the procurement department for Sioux Preme, worked in sales and then moved into operations holding a variety of titles along the way. Malenke’s drive to always “…do something…” has been with him as long as he can remember. When his neighbor in Iowa began cutting his hay, he waited for the call to go work in the hay rack.

A stint driving a feed truck right out of college followed by a hog procurement training position at IBP in Storm Lake, Iowa, only briefly interrupted his connection to the facility in Sioux Center. At IBP, Malenke cut his teeth as trainee in the livestock barn sorting livestock, weighing pigs, penning pigs and tattooing pigs while waiting for his own buying station. But before that happened, he went to Sioux Center, which has been home ever since then.

See MEAT+POULTRY’s July cover story to learn more about Malenke’s career.