At work and at home, Laura Baumert’s story is one we like.
At 12 years old, Jordan Baumert may well be one of the youngest followers of Hormel Foods. Credit goes to his mother, Laura, though she is more surprised than anyone that Jordan watches the company’s Instagram feed like a hawk, consistently giving Hormel Foods posts an enthusiastic thumbs up.
It all began when Laura received the company’s prized jersey, becoming another member of the Pride of the Jersey club, which includes workers who embody the Hormel Foods values. Laura took the jersey home to share it with friends and family, including Jordan.
“I told him to try it on and I would take his picture,” she says. “Then, for fun, I told him to wink. I couldn’t believe he actually did it.”
Jordan soon began keeping an eye on the Hormel Foods content on Instagram, hoping his mom’s story would someday appear. In the meantime, he is getting more than he bargained for: news about Hormel Foods around the world.
“There was a post about Jennie-O Turkey Store recently,” says Laura. “I had to laugh when I saw ‘Jordan Baumert’ was one of the followers who liked it.”
Jordan’s enthusiasm for Hormel Foods runs in the family. In fact, those who know Laura would say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Laura is the first one to jump in and create solutions to fix or minimize a problem,” says Steve Weers, who manages the Fremont (Neb.) Plant. “She is the go-to person for her supervisors, production group and peers.”
Laura began working for Hormel Foods 21 years ago upon her discharge from the United States Air Force. She served at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., working as an aeromedical evacuation clerk during and after Operation Desert Storm.
“I worked with the patients. If we didn’t offer that specialty, we would send them to another military hospital,” she says. “We facilitated the flights with flight surgeons and other doctors, as well as doctors and nurses from other hospitals, and other aeromedical evacuation clerks.”
When her obligation was over, Laura decided to embrace a new challenge. That’s when she applied for a position with Hormel Foods in her hometown of Fremont. Though she grew up a stone’s throw from the plant, she never expected to work there. Neither did she think she would complete more than 20 years of service once she did.
“When you’re part of a good company, you don’t want to leave,” she says.
According to Steve, Laura takes her job seriously, making it a point to speak up when something is amiss. She puts the same care into her other job – that of parent. She’s with Jordan every chance she has, taking in his many sporting events and even practices.
“I like being a mom. That’s how I spend my free time,” she says.
With that, Laura’s face lights up with a smile even bigger than the one that her coworkers routinely see.
“When we get the results that we want, it’s a great feeling. And it’s because everyone worked together to make it happen,” she says.