#22 Neil Dudley – Facebook Live…Why podcast?
Neil Dudley Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. We are so excited you’re here. We appreciate you joining us. And we look forward to sharing these conversations with thought leaders from our industry. They’re going to paint a picture from every perspective – consumer, customer, vendor, employee, and peer – that I think is going to be super valuable, and we’re really excited to share. So, thanks for tuning in. Remember don’t tune out, and grab life by the bacon.
I get ready to do this live Facebook live Pederson’s podcast, live episode I’m so excited about. I want to tell everybody all about the podcast, well, and find out did you know that we have a podcast? That’s something else I’m curious, I want you to learn, want to teach you. Well, put questions in the- ask questions on the live. I’ll try to get to them if I can pay enough attention. But what I really just want to spend time doing is painting the picture of why do a podcast? Why have this conversation? Why put this content out? So maybe it paints a picture for you a little better of what the goal is. Why would we do it? Why does Pederson’s value that kind of thing? So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
Welcome to the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. This is something you’ll hear almost at the beginning of every episode because I really do want you to feel welcome. I want you to feel a part of our community. For those people joining the live that are longtime PNFers, thank you for your support over the years. For the new people that may be coming because their friend told them about it, we welcome you, we’re so glad you’re here. So, to paint the big picture of what the podcast is all about, it’s really about giving you, our community, access to thought leaders in our industry. One of the best examples that we’ve had on already is Melissa Urban, I mean, the founder of Whole30 and quite a visionary person, a great, I guess, thoughtful leader. So, we look up to her. I want to share her story. I want to give you all access to her story. We’ve put out 18 episodes. Big picture is structured like this: We do an episode from a consumer, somebody that eats Pederson’s product. We do an episode with a customer, somebody like a retailer, an e-commerce retailer, a restaurant food service distributor, somebody like that. It’s a customer that buys our products and then sells it to other consumers. Vendors, people that work for Pederson’s in a way that makes us capable of doing what we do. That piece of the business, I think, goes unseen, untalked about quite often. I want to paint that picture for you, whoever may be listening, paying attention, interested in what Pederson’s is all about, to get a chance to hear their story, hear why they’re important to us being able to do what we do. Then we do employees, that way you get to meet people besides me and whoever might be on social media, might be kind of out in front of the company for you guys to get to meet and get to know and who’s telling our story, who is hopefully building trust within the community, certainly being transparent with what we do and how we do it. We want you to see and get to meet some of the people that really have their hands on the nuts and bolts of Pederson’s as a company and making the products that we make and telling the stories that we tell, all of those things. So, we’re excited to introduce you to those people. That’s one reason to do this Facebook live. Maybe you’ll go- I think I put the link to our podcast website for you to go follow that, check it out, look at those episodes. The last kind of really cool thing I like is on, and we structured this kind of like weekly episodes, although we drop them all right in the first week of a month. So, January’s of 2022, those episodes are about to drop next week for everybody to go listen to. We just drop them all at once, so you can go binge that week of episodes if you want to and hopefully find things you want. Or if you’re only really kind of interested in the employee conversations, well then, bam, first of every month, you’re going to get to go listen to a new employee conversation. In those fifth week months, we do what I really like is a peer conversation. So, we find people in the industry that are doing great work that our competitors that they hold us accountable really because we have somebody to compete against. Somebody else is out there doing something that is similar to us and they’re making us deliver. I mean, outside of consumers, the competitors really keep each other honest and hardworking and innovative, all those things. So that’s kind of the structure of it. That’s how the episodes lay out. Those are the thought leaders that we’re going to be targeting and getting on the show. I mean, we’ve already had just a list of great guests. Matter of fact, I just want to say thank you to the 18 people that have already been guests on our show. Thank you so much, Melissa Urban. I’m just naming a few. I think with our audience, you’ll recognize some of these names. Robb Wolf was on the show. Shannon Duffy, there’s a bacon brand out there called Tender Belly, if anybody’s familiar with them. Shannon came on the show and told us a little bit about the Tender Belly story. I thought that was great. And then there’s some of those employee stories that, I mean, I just so appreciated Gary and Henry, they’re our maintenance kind of supervisors and leaders. They work on the machines that make sure the bacon is slicing right and make sure the sausage is getting cooked correctly. They’re in there each and every day figuring those puzzles out. And I thought their episode was just really fun. That’s just to highlight a few. Y’all go check it out.
Now here comes Becca with a question. Thanks, Becca, because I really need this practice. I need to be able to watch the comments and answer a question as they come, because the truth is those questions are what will try to help us direct the podcast, where it goes next. I mean, most of this so far is my idea. It’s just what I enjoy. And I hope other people find it enjoyable and informative and transparent and trustworthy and all those things. I mean, at the end of the day, my goal, our goal as a company is to put out wholesome food you can feel good about feeding your family, the proteins that are just trustworthy. So, I want you to be spending your hard-earned dollar on a product that you’re happy to feed your family. And then we’re responsible for making sure you understand enough about our company so you can feel that way. So back to Becca’s question, what’s it like recording an episode with a competitor? Well, for me, it’s just a pure joy. Like I’ve been competing against Tender Belly. We’ll just use them as an example. Shannon and Eric, they started a great company in Denver out of the back of their van, taking super expensive bacon, truly dry rubbed, dry cured bacon into restauranteurs, chefs, giving it to them. It reminds me, their story reminds me of a whole lot of me and Cody and our experience with building Pederson’s. We used to be in the plant, making the product, putting it in the truck, taking it to the stores, and then on the way back to the plant, we’d stop at grocery stores and just show them what we were doing. And over time, consistently grinding it out, I would call it grinding it out, just doing that thing, we built what is today a company that is selling nationwide and internationally, and we just hit the market at a good time. And we’re doing something I think if you’ve been in business for 25 years, there is a lot of value in that. It shows consumers we’ve been around, we’ve been doing this thing for a long time. I’ve been doing it long enough that I got laughed out of food shows multiple times in the early years, just talking about no antibiotics ever, third-party humane verified, those kinds of things. The people at the conference just thought that was a fad, going to disappear, and couldn’t understand why anybody would be doing it. We thought it would be here to stay, and it looks like we were right. I hope that answers the question a little bit. I mean, I could go on and on just about that one episode with Shannon and how that conversation then built a relationship between he and I, so that we’re bouncing ideas off of each other now, where I think it makes us both better. It gives us both a chance to be a better company. So really, it’s no different than doing an episode with somebody else. It’s just different information, different things to learn.
So why the podcast? What’s the mission? What is the reason? And if I haven’t said it, I probably haven’t said this kind of specifically yet, but the truth is gathering thought leaders from our industry, from our business, and giving you access to their thoughts, information, innovations, and just a better, more full picture and understanding of Pederson’s and bacon production and sausage production and the whole better-for-you protein industry. I want to build that thing so you can learn more from it. And then, we’ve got some notes here just in case you’re wondering. See, I’m looking down. I don’t typically work from notes. I mean, in the podcast, we’ll do a little research, but most of these people are people I’ve worked with or known over the years, and so, I’m just curious, and so we end up talking out of curiosity about what they do. Before this episode, I did take a few notes, a couple of things. One thing I thought you might be curious about is why tell this story? I mean, why? The reason I think it’s imperative to tell this story is I need you, I want you, I want to be the brand that you feel is transparent. We’re not ever hiding anything. Are we perfect? Do we do everything just the best way it could possibly be done? No. That’s honest, that’s the truth. We’re striving to it. I sure want to. I think everybody at Pederson’s would tell you we want to, but we don’t do it all perfect all the time. Sometimes it’s just the human in us. We forget, we didn’t put that PO into the system and that order didn’t get where it was supposed to go on time. We just have to make that right. We have to stand behind it. Every pig in every barn and across all of our network of farmers is important to us. I want you to know that. Is every pig caught by every auditor? Are we sure that everything we do is exactly right? No, but we’re going to own that. We’re going to work on it. We’re going to make sure we get it better. That’s one reason we have third-party audits. Look, every farmer that works with us, every pig we source gets audited by some third-party person that doesn’t get a paycheck from that business or the industry or any other thing. Their job is to solely say these people followed the rules, they’ve kept the records, they’re doing the things that most accurately represent somebody who cares about animal husbandry and is following these guidelines, whatever they might be, which are we use Certified Humane. We’ve used our biggest certification we carry is Global Animal Partnership. If you’re not familiar with those companies, go check them out because they’re doing the tough work of building the outlines. I’m sure everybody is kind of in tune to this Prop 12 that is going on in California, a law they’ve passed, that really got our industry paying a lot more attention to animal welfare issues, animal raising practices, animal husbandry. You should go listen to the Gary Dial episode. I mean, it’s so fun. I’m going to just reference back to people I’ve already talked to about these things. I don’t know what episode number it was but go listen. If you have time, if you’re into podcasting, go listen back to the Gary Dial episode. He’ll tell you all about our philosophy in pig raising.
Oh, we’ve got another question. Oh, this one is great. I mean, I’m saying it is great because it’s Becca now commenting as her husband. Becca, I just love you. I’m so glad you’re over there doing this thing. Is there a particular thing you consider when planning the next episode and guest? All I do is- what I do is just find people I know that fall into these categories in no particular order, no particular special topic, because each and every one of them live and breathe what we’re going to end up talking about on that episode each and every day. So, all I really need to do is say is that a consumer? Which this is a consumer episode, right? I eat Pederson’s products. This is kind of a fun story. As a consumer of the product and as a guy that’s been doing this for 20 years, I have been in front of a lot of buyers all over the country who are trying our products, cutting our products against other people. And it’s been interesting, a time or two, they’ll look at me and say, “Wow, you ate the product too.” I’m like doesn’t everybody? I mean, it never occurred to me that there are people showing products, selling things in the market that don’t actually eat it in their everyday life. I mean, this food is what I eat, it is what I feed my kids, it’s what my family has on the table at our house. So, I just think that’s like a baseline requirement for authenticity. That’s the answer, Mr. Ryan Jackson. I don’t think of a particular thing. I just say is this a consumer? Is this a customer? Is this somebody we work with? Is this a vendor? Is this somebody that-? See, one of the cool vendors we’ve already interviewed, which they’re all cool, I mean, I could pick all of them, but I was going to highlight Jason Storey. His company does ozone machines, a company called- he represents several different equipment manufacturers, and one of them is Jimco. They make ozone equipment. So, you’ll set this piece of equipment in a room, turn it on overnight, and it totally sanitizes every nook and cranny of the room by just ozone. It kills COVID. It was a great thing. We were already doing it prior to the COVID outbreak. It was just one of those nice benefits that our plant was fully sanitized, air, every nook and cranny of every piece of equipment. So, you can’t get water in on all of those electrical components, all those computer boards, every piece of equipment these days has components to it that you can’t wash with water or scrub, so you’re not able to get to all of those places where you need to clean. Ozone does that trick for us. It is really good.
Let’s see, where was I going? Oh, I’m just like, when I think of guests, I just think of people that we work with, people that work for us, with us, partner with us, and I go ask them will you come on the show? Melissa was a great first episode find. It was so nice of her to come on and share the Whole30 story and be a part of that for us. It gave us a lot of credibility. We’ve been working with Whole30 for a lot of years. Go pay attention to Whole30. They’re very front leading edge, thoughtful in everything they do. Matter of fact, they’ve just approved MSG back on their list of ingredients that are okay. I’ve got to go learn more about that. I kind of, in full transparency and honestly, I never knew why MSG wasn’t good. I needed to go learn. That’s part of what this podcast can do and will do. It will drive me, our company to go learn and figure these things out. I don’t even know what umami is. Me and Ben, which hey, Ben, Ben helps us with the podcast some. If anybody wants to go learn a little bit more about Ben Warren, he’s a guy that works with us on the podcast, helps me get some of this stuff lined up. Becca, which you see her commenting here, she’s definitely a big piece of this. She’s pushing me to do some of these things, more than what I would have probably without her pressure. So, Becca, I appreciate you for that. But Ben, go look him up. He’s an ex-Whole Foods guy. He worked at Whole Foods for a little while. He’s been around the meat business a long time. So, he’s just a great asset to kind of have behind the scenes helping me make sure I don’t forget to ask questions. Now, let’s see, did I ever get through the full list of reasons for doing a podcast. I think I started with transparency. Did I manage to get to trust? I think trust is a thing anybody that spends a dollar on our product needs to have. So, I want you to have ways of hearing about what we do and how we do it that aren’t just from me. Because eventually you could say Neil’s just spitting off this story that he’s practiced a million times. Look, when we’re having conversations on the podcast, you’re getting perspectives from lots of other people that we do business with, that we sell to, that we work with, that eat our products. So, oh, I remember why I was talking about Ben – umami. We had a deep conversation about what that is. If you’re not familiar, if you don’t feel like you know, go check it out. That’s where MSG kind of has that umami flavor. It is the sixth flavor. I was like I don’t even know what you mean. So, I’ve got a lot to learn. I’m out there to learn that now. Maybe if somebody on here knows more, they could be a part of this conversation, come on the podcast, help me talk about umami and what that means, right? I mean, let’s get educated together. I think that’s a truth that I’m just not afraid to share. I hope everybody else can hear it and just allow it. I don’t know everything. I’ve only- I’m just in the business. I work in the business. I think about the business. I am passionate about this business. But I don’t know everything. I have things to learn. I’m wrong sometimes. I’m right a lot of times. So, it’s just a journey. And I’ve spent a lot of time recently realizing that and understanding that and just allowing that truth to be what it is.
The last thing is we want, through our transparent trust, to inspire loyalty. Loyalty is a really tough thing to garner these days, especially with just the internet and as many competitors are out there and the quickly evolving world of food. How do I do the kind of job, be the kind of brand that inspires loyalty and gets people like you and whoever’s listening, whoever buys Pederson’s products to come back again? Because we know you have a lot of options. We want you to understand as much as you possibly can about Pederson’s so when you make that choice, you feel totally comfortable, and you come back again and again.
So, if you’ve never listened to the Pederson’s Natural Farms Podcasts, go check it out. Please subscribe, tell a friend. Email us, tell us what you think. Tell us what you would like to hear more of. We will go those directions. You guys can totally be a huge part of making this podcast what is most valuable. Thank you so much for being here for this Facebook live episode. I really, really, really appreciate you doing that, and see you next time. Thanks for coming. Go get ‘em, PNFers.
Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. It’s been a blast bringing this to you, and I sure hope you enjoyed it and found value. If you did, tell a friend, share it out on social media, hit that subscribe button, or go check us out at pedersonsfarms.com. We sure hope you do. And thanks for being here.
(0:30) – Introducing Pederson’s Facebook Live & why we started the podcast
(6:28) – Audience Question: What’s it like recording an episode with a competitor?
(9:50) – The Mission of the podcast
(11:09) – The steps we take for complete transparency
(13:43) – Audience Question: How do you think about planning who will be your next guest on the show?
(18:35) – The importance of customer trust & continuous learning
(20:37) – Building loyalty & final thoughtsThe Pederson’s Farms Podcast is produced by Straight Up Podcasts & Root and Roam.