Two Butterball employees were recognized for their leadership and professional accomplishments in the meat and poultry manufacturing industry at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia, in January. Makenzie Jackson, research and development food scientist, and Nicole Maxwell, quality assurance lab supervisor, were both selected to participate in the IPPE Young Leaders Under 30 Program, which targets young professionals, between the ages of 21 and 29, who work for companies directly involved in the production and processing of poultry and meat or in the production of animal food. The goal of the program is to engage and invest in the next generation of young professionals while celebrating their status as up-and-coming leaders in their companies.  

Jackson joined Butterball’s Research and Development team in March 2021. Her work focuses on Butterball’s strategic priority to drive innovation. Jackson's primary interest is to create innovative and sustainable foods that meet consumer demands while decreasing food waste. Jackson studied at NC State University, earning both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in food science. 

Maxwell joined Butterball in March 2022 and supervises the daily operations at the company’s Raeford, North Carolina, laboratory. Her work testing turkey burger and sausage products for Salmonella has been integral to Butterball’s stewardship promise of “safety first,” and her work remains focused on finding solutions to industry challenges like Salmonella reduction. She is a graduate of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland with a bachelor’s degree in applied freshwater and marine biology with an emphasis on micro and molecular biology.  

“Team members that receive this award represent the future of our industry. In being able to participate and receive awards in programs such as the Young Leaders Under 30, they are not only recognized for their achievements, but also given the opportunity to be exposed to the latest technologies and sciences within the industry,” said Jeff Niedermeyer, director of Food Safety at Butterball. “It is truly an honor to be selected to receive this award[,] and Butterball is extremely proud of Nicole and Makenzie for this accomplishment.” 

Sources: Butterball; 2022 Kantar Brand Tracking Wave 6 n=400