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The Real Thing

Mary Burich | January 4, 2022

People

Troy Michalek Receives Jersey Award

Troy Michalek has a well-known affinity for a famous soft drink, so when he recently entered a conference room filled with a carefully crafted display of the carbonated beverage, plus associated swag, he didn’t think it could get any better. Then he received the 2021 edition of the Hormel Foods Pride of the Jersey award.

“It was a big surprise,” he says.

HR Manager Mustafa Abdille was one of the people who helped engineer the event.

“Troy is the perfect example of someone who puts in the hours, has a positive floor presence and works diligently to make sure things are done the correct way,” he says.

Troy is the perfect example of someone who puts in the hours, has a positive floor presence and works diligently to make sure things are done the correct way.

HR Manager Mustafa Abdille

Troy’s hours begin each day at 4 a.m. Due to staff changes, he has been going above and beyond of late, running a department while covering his responsibilities as a production manager at the Jennie-O Faribault (Minn.) Plant. Needless to say, it’s been busy, but he takes it all in stride.

“So, I guess that’s why I got the jersey; I picked up the slack when it was needed,” he says matter-of-factly.

Troy came to Jennie-O in 2007 after a successful career in construction. He was running his own company in his hometown of Faribault when a global recession hit in the early 2000s.

“I took an hourly job to get through it, and I’ve been here ever since” he says. “I love it here. I love my job, and I enjoy the people.”

He began as a “green hat,” a term used to describe new production team members. As the name implies, they wear green hard hats so longer-term team members can easily identify them and be at the ready with a helping hand or some instruction.

Troy eventually traded in his green hat for the color of the more seasoned team members at the plant and found himself embracing the Cultural Beliefs of Hormel Foods. He’s been steadily promoted during the past 14 years and has made a good many friends along the way.

“The Faribault Plant is one big family,” he says.

Speaking of family, Troy is a newlywed. He and his wife, Bethany, had a COVID-19 wedding. What started as a celebration in a banquet hall set for nearly 500 people morphed into a backyard ceremony for 65 invited guests. True to form, Troy took it all in stride. They are just as married, despite a change in plans, he says.

When he’s not working or planning a wedding, Troy likes to work on cars, and go to auto and cycle shows. He’s a fan of the beach and water sports such as kayaking and tubing. He also likes to kick back with a glass of cold fizzy cola.

The kind that like him, is the real thing.

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