Dedicated to the support of local organizations since 1941
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About the Foundation

About The Hormel Foundation

A separate entity from Hormel Foods Corp., The Hormel Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1941 by Hormel Foods Corporation founder George A. Hormel and his son, Jay C. Hormel.  Contributions from The Hormel Foundation directly benefit the Austin, MN area.  The Hormel Foundation was reorganized in 1980 as a supporting organization under I.R.C. Section 509(a)(3).  As a supporting organization, it is organized and operated for the benefit of those charitable or educational organizations represented on its board. 

The Hormel Foundation ranks fourth in annual giving among Minnesota’s largest community/public foundations and public charity grant makers, with those in the lead located in the Twin Cities, according to the Minnesota Council on Foundations. The Hormel Foundation’s contributions are a direct result from the dividend increases of Hormel Foods’ common stock – the Foundation’s main asset.           

The Hormel Foundation supports the community through organizations that provide food, shelter and clothing, advance quality healthcare, education and research and enhance the quality of life through projects such as the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Interpretive Center and the Austin Community Recreation Center.


Between 1954 and 1957, the Foundation became trustee for 21 family trusts. Nine of those family trusts remain extant. Currently trustee for nine trusts established by Jay C. Hormel.

  • These trusts hold approximately 41.4% of Hormel Foods Corporation outstanding stock (which, together with 5.4% owned by the Hormel Foundation gives the Hormel Foundation over 46.8% voting control).
  • The Jay C. Hormel trusts terminate 21 years after the death of the last son.
  • The Hormel Foundation effectively holds a remainder in all the trusts.

In order to continue to hold a significant level of Hormel stock after the Tax Reform Act of 1969, in 1980 the Hormel foundation amended its articles to qualify as a public foundation under Section 509(a)(3) of the IRC. Pursuant to the 1980 Restated Articles of Incorporation, the purpose of the Foundation is to benefit and assist in carrying out the purposes of “qualified” organizations.

  • Each qualified organization is a public charity which is named in the Foundation’s articles, and which designates a director of the Foundation. (University of Minnesota - The Hormel Institute, Cedar Valley Services, Inc., City of Austin, Mayo Clinic Health Systems - Austin, Parenting Resource Center, The Salvation Army, United Way of Mower County, YMCA of Austin, Austin Public Schools, and Riverland Community College)
  • There are currently 19 directors, 10 of whom are appointed by qualified organizations and 9 of whom are elected.
    • The Foundation must always be controlled by the directors designated by the charitable organizations the Foundation serves. The appointed directors must always outnumber the elected directors, and each director has one vote.
    • The elected directors fill vacancies in their ranks by a vote of the elected directors only.

First Hormel Foundation Board of Directors

Pictured from left to right, the first board of directors: Judge S. D. Catherwood, M.F. Dugan, H.H. Corey, R. P. Crane and Park Dougherty. 

Current Hormel Foundation Board of Directors

4th row, left to right: Richard R. Pavek, Jon W. Erichson, Mark R. Ciota, James P. Snee

3rd row, left to right: Roland G. Gentzler, Thomas J. Dankert, Joey M. Page, Robert R. Clarke, Steven T. Rizzi, Jr.

2nd row, left to right: Diane B. Baker, Nitaya C. Jandragholica, Randy J. Kramer

1st row, left to right: Kathleen L. Linaker, Michelle M. King, Bonnie B. Rietz, Jeffrey L. Strickler, Sara Y. Salas-Ramirez, Molly S. Lanke