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Joe Weber
You can make a name for yourself in the food industry.

Profile: Joe Weber

Alumni
Manager

“You can make a name for yourself in the food industry,” said Joe Weber, senior vice president of fresh pork at Smithfield Packing in Smithfield, Virginia.

Weber works to maximize the value of fresh pork products for Smithfield Foods, a global food company. These products range from rendered products, to offal cuts, pork chops and value-added ready-to-cook retail items.

“It is a great industry with a great future that needs young people to become involved,” said Weber, an agricultural economics graduate.

In addition, he is part of the group that is responsible for the product’s pricing and value optimization. He helps sell the product to retail, food service, industrial and export markets.

“I enjoy that my activities are different every day,” he said. “I also enjoy a fast-paced environment.”

Weber said it is important to have a sound understanding of metrics, the quantitative tools used for measuring, comparing and tracking a company’s performance or production.

He believes his quick decision making skills helped him succeed in this position. In addition, the strong communication and problem solving skills he developed at the U of I have helped him advance his career in the food industry.

“There are not many institutions of the caliber of the U of I where you can study agriculture in a small-college environment,” he said.