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

Our History

The Hormel Foundation was incorporated in 1941 as a Minnesota nonprofit corporation at the instigation of Jay C. Hormel. Initially, the Foundation's primary activity was support of the Hormel Institute (a research body of the University of Minnesota, unrelated to the company).


Between 1954 and 1957, the Foundation became trustee for 21 family trusts. Eleven of those family trusts remain extant. Currently trustee for two trusts established in 1934 by George A. Hormel and for nine trusts established by Jay C. Hormel.

  • These trusts hold approximately 43.26% of Hormel Foods Corporation outstanding stock (which, together with 5.21% owned by the Hormel Foundation gives the Hormel Foundation over 48% voting control).
  • The George A. Hormel Trusts terminate on the death of the grandson benefited by the trust, and 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.

The Hormel Foundation Presentation

Learn more about the Foundation's Mission, Purpose and Grants in this 75th Anniversary slideshow presentation.

Relationship to the Company

The Foundation was created to fulfill three primary responsibilities: preserve the independence of the Hormel Foods Corporation, support the Austin, MN community and area, provide for the financial welfare of family heirs for the duration established by family trusts. These responsibilities have been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and they have been fulfilled for 75 years. The Foundation controls more than 48% of Hormel Foods’ stock and would vote against any proposal to purchase the Corporation.