Mel Coleman Jr., the pioneering 5th generation Coleman family rancher, Coleman Natural Foods company spokesperson and meat industry leader has been inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame.
Mel is one of six inductees in the class of 2021 and follows in the footsteps of his father, Mel Coleman, Sr. who was inducted in 2009. He and three other inductees participated in a webinar on Feb. 2, 2022, discussing the industry’s recent advancements and what they believe will propel the meat and poultry markets forward in 2022, and in the years to come.
As a 5th generation Coleman family member, Mel has been involved with the family business at various points throughout his career. In the 1970s, Mel pursued an opportunity in the farm irrigation business, becoming a founding partner of Tumac Industries, which manufactures center pivot and linear irrigation systems. In 1984 he found himself drawn back to the family business and joined Coleman Natural Meats (as it was called at the time) as vice president of sales. In the mid-1990s he transitioned to Niman Ranch, supporting their special projects and sales. In 2018 he shifted his focus back to Coleman Natural Foods, which is now part of Perdue Premium Meat Company.
Throughout his career, Mel has held numerous chair, board and committee seats for organizations such as the American Meat Institute, Organic Trade Association, American Farmland Trust and the Organic Food Alliance, where he is a founding member. He has personally visited and worked with producers across America including Hawaii, Alaska, and Native American tribes, as well as with farmers and ranchers in Europe, England, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Uruguay, Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
“Mel has a passion for educating others both in and outside the industry on the importance of doing things not always the easy way, but the right way,” said Bart Vittori, Sr., General Manager and Vice President of Coleman Natural Foods.
Mel’s father, Mel Coleman Sr. (inducted in 2009) founded Coleman Natural Foods in the 1970s and was a champion in the beef industry as the first to establish the standards and protocols necessary to garner the USDA’s first natural label. Mel has continued to carry on the legacy, grow the business and keep Coleman a well-recognized and respected brand and name.
Mel expressed his gratitude by saying, “Working alongside my dad, getting the first natural beef label and working hard for organic standards left me outside looking in at various times, so being recognized by the committee, industry and my peers is one of the biggest honors of my career. Being part of this impressive circle is incredibly meaningful to me and my family.”
Learn more about Coleman Natural Foods at www.ColemanNatural.com