The Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame will induct five new members this spring. They include an African American entrepreneur who built a business based on a home recipe, a man who leveraged a spot in “The Wizard of Oz” into a role as an iconic industry spokesperson, an expert in flavor and color technology, and husband/wife team whose products have won hundreds of industry awards.
Glorious Malone, Malone’s Fine Sausage, Milwaukee, Wis., began her pioneering journey in the ’60s by making headcheese in her home kitchen. Unbeknownst to Malone at the time, her product was being resold and served in stores and taverns as far away as Chicago. Malone, who passed away in 2007, used the popularity of that product to found a successful business that today produces a variety of meat products sold throughout the Midwest region.
Meinhardt Raabe represented Oscar Mayer & Co. as “Little Oscar” and played a key part in the company’s early efforts to gain brand recognition. Raabe, a native of Jefferson County, took a leave from his job at Oscar Mayer to play the role of munchkin coroner for the movie Wizard of Oz. The resulting celebrity further propelled the Little Oscar character and Oscar Mayer products to new markets throughout the nation. Raabe died in 2009.
Gary L. Underwood is the co-owner, vice president and chief technology officer of the Red Arrow Products Company in Manitowoc. He holds 15 patents related to food flavoring and is responsible for the firm’s new product development and quality control. Under his leadership, Red Arrow has evolved into an advanced food flavor and color technology company with national and international recognition.
Roger and Pat Van Hemelryk have built Maplewood Meats, their family-owned retail meat market and custom processing plant, into an award-winning operation. Thanks to their hard work and dedication to quality, the Green Bay firm has received 152 state cured meat product competition awards from the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors, 51 national cured meat product competition awards from the American Association of Meat Processors and five international competition awards in Germany. The couple has also hosted numerous food safety seminars in their plant in an effort to help maintain the state’s meat industry reputation for high-quality products.
Inductees will be recognized at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Livestock and Meat Council on May 12, 2011. The induction luncheon will be at 12:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison. Reservations can be made through Jeff Swenson, Division of Agricultural Development, Wisconsin DATCP, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911.
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For more information, contact Elton Aberle at (608) 890-0959 or