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Midwest Family Values Informs Business Philosophy Of OSI President McDonald


Perhaps there is no better beginnings for the future president of one of the world’s largest meat and food processing companies than being raised on a family farm. That’s how OSI group President David McDonald began his life and career – helping out on his parent’s agricultural operation in northwest Iowa. After finishing high school, McDonald enrolled in one of our nation’s premier upper Midwest educational institutions – the University of Iowa, home of the Hawkeyes.

Sticking to what he knew best, McDonald earned a degree in animal science. With freshly-minted university diploma in hand, his first job out of college was with OSI Group, a company he would remain with for the next 30 years (and counting). He would rise from an entry level position all the way to the presidency of that company.

Not bad for a kid from a small Iowa farm. OSI Group is among the world’s largest privately owned firms, ranked #58 on Forbes list of top U.S. companies. It commands an annual revenue of $6 billion as of 2016. That’s even more remarkable when you consider that OSI was ranked 136th by Forbes in 2011 with $3 billion in revenue.

OSI Group has also rapidly expanded to gain a major international presence across the globe. It has 65 operations in 17 countries, including North America, West and East Europe and locations across Asia. China has been a source of major expansion and growth in recent years.

Much of the credit for that robust growth clearly rests with David McDonald. Better yet, the expansion McDonald has engineered has been accomplished in a sustainable, stable and environmentally conscious manner. In fact, OSI group has received so many awards and recognition for ecological innovations they are too numerous to mention in a single story.

McDonald has often said in media interviews that his business philosophy is deeply customer oriented. The process of learning and responding to customer needs drives innovation, he said. Focusing on customers has also had the added effect of engendering a deep levels of loyalty among consumers of OSI products.  It’s not surprising that McDonald likes to think of OSI’s customer demographic as “family.” His upbringing in a humble family farm with honest-to-goodness Midwest values has proven to be an exceptional orientation for a man at the helm of an international food processing powerhouse.

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