• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009


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Terry Tucker,
BS '63
 Milford, Ind.  •  Profiled: Fall ’93

Duck farm tycoon

Maple Leaf Farms wasn’t even Maple Leaf Farms when Terry Tucker started with the company as a high school student in the late ’50s.

“I started working for my future father-in-law (Don Wentzel) before he officially started Maple Leaf Farms,” Tucker says. “At the time, he and some friends were raising ducks on their farms and then processing them at a plant in Michigan. When the plant closed, he decided to purchase a small poultry farm and processing plant just south of Milford, Ind. With this move, Maple Leaf Farms was born.”

Tucker could hardly have anticipated that Maple Leaf would become the nation’s largest producer of ducks, producing approximately 15 million ducks each year from 140 partner farms, and that he would be CEO and chairman of the company.

Or that Maple Leaf would eventually celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2008. Or that he could sit back with great pride and watch his sons, Scott and John, take the reins and direct the company as co-presidents.

  “Although I considered joining his growing duck company while I was attending Purdue and even thought about serving in a leadership role, I don’t know that I ever anticipated the opportunities that it has afforded me,” Tucker says. “My Purdue degree has opened many doors for me, and the entire Purdue Agriculture network of alumni, professors and supporters has truly been invaluable.”