Earl B. Olson

Male, Deceased Person

1915 – 2006


Who was Earl B. Olson?

Earl B. Olson was a businessman who founded the Jennie-O Turkey company.

Earl B. Olson was born on a farm north of Murdock, MN, the son of Olof and Anna Olson. Both his father and mother were immigrants from Sweden. After eight grades of school in Murdock, Olson enrolled in the West Central School of Agriculture, Morris, MN, graduating in 1932.

Olson first ran a small creamery in Swift Falls, Minnesota, which processed turkeys on the side. In 1940, Earl Olson began raising turkeys. In 1949 he bought the former Farmers Produce Company of Willmar and its turkey processing plant. By 1953, Mr. Olson converted Farmer's Produce to a USDA-inspected eviscerated turkey plant and developed the brand name Jennie-O—after Earl and Dorothy Olson's daughter, Jennifer, and the 'O' in Olson. He served as President and Chief Executive Office until 1974 when he became Chairman of the Board. He was Chairman Emeritus at the time of his death.

He was a mainstay of the turkey industry, and a pioneer in developing new turkey products and expanding the marketplace.

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May 8, 1915
Also known as
  • Earl Olson
Lived in
  • Willmar
Dec 11, 2006

on July 23, 2013


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