A couple of years ago while attending the Minnesota State Fair, I had an epicurean experience never to be forgotten. It happened at the giant SPAM display where they were selling fried Spam. After walking the massive fair grounds for more than six hours, this divinely prepared delicacy was best food I had tasted in months. I had to know more about it. That’s when my brother, who lives in Minnesota and teaches at Minnesota State, told me about the Spam museum in Austin, MN.
The next day we drove to Austin and I was blown away by the power of the Spam brand. Not only was the history of Spam impressive, so were the employees at the museum. It was clear that they loved the company they worked for and enjoyed being brand ambassadors. Turns out Hormel Foods is the company that makes and markets Spam, and they are a great corporate citizen. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Hormel announced that starting in 2021, they will pay for two years of college for any of their 16,000 employees children.
The announcement comes a couple of years after Hormel’s successful program in Austin that funded community college for any Austin, MN high school students. After proving the value of the program at their corporate head quarters, Hormel wanted to roll out free college for all of its employees, many of whom did not have the opportunity of post secondary education themselves. While Hormel’s program will certainly be a huge blessing for its employees, the bigger impact may be encouraging other companies to follow suit.