MAGEE, MISS. – Julie Polk Breazeale, chief executive officer of Polk’s Meat Products Inc., is the new owner of the smoked meat company. Breazeale has been CEO since 2011 when she took over for her father John Polk after his successful bid for Mississippi state senate. She started with the company in 2000 as director of special projects.

“I was never able to know my grandfather so to be able to continue his dream is one way I can stay connected to him,” Breazeale said. “I feel very blessed to be able to share this exciting experience with my husband and children. It’s important to me that my kids know that you must put the work in to reach your goals. One thing that became clear early on was the realization that I was definitely in the minority when it came to being in the meat industry, but that is also part of what has given me the drive to get to this point.

“I would like to thank my family, and especially my father Senator John Polk, for having the faith in me to carry on our family’s work. I look forward to leading Polk’s Meat and continue producing the same quality products that are loved by our customers.”

John Polk led the company since 1974, when he purchased it from his father.

“My wife, Jan, and I bought the company from my mother and father Jan. 1, 1974. We had visions of building a business that would be worthy of passing to the next generation of Polks. Today that goal has been accomplished. Julie, the third generation to own and run the company, has great dreams of making Polk’s Meat an even more successful processor of fine meats.”

Polk’s Meat produces smoked ham, sausage, and various other processed meat items to retail grocery, foodservice and institutional markets in the Southeastern US and Midwest. Retail brands include Polk’s, Magnolia and Red Rose. Polk’s is the largest smoked meat processor in Mississippi.