Scott Tucker is a board member and the Co-President of Maple Leaf Farms, a multi-generational family-owned company and America’s leading producer of quality duck products. A third-generation family member, Scott began working in the company as a teenager. Today, as Co-President, he leads operations, quality assurance, live production, distribution, and the National Duck Council. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Zachary Tucker is the Retention and Efficiency Manager of Maple Leaf Farms and a fourth-generation family member. Zach has been working for over ten years at Maple Leaf Farms, where he began as a special projects coordinator in the company’s live production department. He graduated with a degree in Animal Agribusiness from Purdue University, where he is currently pursuing a Master’s in Agricultural Economics.
Scott and Zach join me today to discuss the dynamics of running a family business. They describe the history of Maple Leaf Farms and how they have grown into one of the primary duck breeders in the world. They explain how Maple Leaf Farms is addressing labor shortages in the duck industry through automation and investment in apprenticeship programs. They also highlight the value of innovation and underscore the challenges and benefits of running a family business.
“When it comes to a family business, you have to be good stewards of the business first—otherwise, the business will not be there to take care of the family.” – Zach Tucker
This week on The Owner’s Corner:
- Scott and Zach’s background and the history of Maple Leaf Farms
- How Maple Leaf Farms’ duck business has evolved through the years
- Compliance and regulations related to selling poultry to other countries
- The growth process of ducks and how they compare to other poultry
- Maple Leaf Farms’ customers and distribution size in the United States
- Labor and employee retention challenges in the duck and agriculture industries
- Maple Leaf Farms’ employment rates
- Biosecurity and preventing avian disease
- Overcoming the challenges of transitioning a business across generations
- How Maple Leaf Farms is developing its succession plans for family members
- The benefits and advantages of running a family business
- The importance of having a fiscally responsible outlook
- The value of innovation and how Maple Leaf Farms became ahead of its time
- How the 2008-09 financial crisis impacted Maple Leaf Farms and how the business navigated it
- Understanding the duck business’s global market and Zach’s growth forecast for the duck industry
Our Favorite Quotes:
- “Running a family business isn’t just an 8 to 5 job. You need to have the support of the family and understand that you’re all in this together.” – Seth Whicker
- “In poultry—and in agriculture, in general—you’ll have to constantly reinvest in things like new technology.” – Zach Tucker
- “Evolution is about innovation. Look at the core problems and obstacles of growing your business and innovate to move past them.” – Scott Tucker
Connect with Scott Tucker:
Connect with Zach Tucker:
Connect with Maple Leaf Farms:
- Maple Leaf Farms Website
- Maple Leaf Farms on Linkedin
- Maple Leaf Farms on Facebook
- Maple Leaf Farms on Instagram
- Maple Leaf Farms on Twitter
- Maple Leaf Farms on YouTube
About SYM Financial and The Owner’s Corner Podcast
The Owner’s Corner is a show for business owners. In each episode, host and financial planner Seth Whicker sits down with business owners and the professionals that serve them to talk about what it takes to build a business. Our guests come from many industries and walks of life to share their biggest wins, mistakes made along the way, and their thinking about the all-important exit planning.
Email Seth at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, and to schedule a one-on-one conversation.
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