Work in Ames

Smokehouse Plant Manager

Company Name:
WG Provisions
Company Description:

Founded in 1979, WG Provisions has provided customers with unsurpassed high-quality meats, smoke house creations, life-improving biomedical products and business-building order fulfillment services. For over 40 years, WG Provisions has offered quality products and exceptional service proven by our loyal, long-standing customers. We create relationships that deliver the consistent quality and service needed to overcome our customers’ challenges.  We're eager to talk to you!

Job Type:
Full Time
Posted Date:
October 26, 2023
Deadline Date:
February 1, 2024
Job Categories:
Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Management, Skilled Trades
Home Base Iowa Company:
Job Description:

Position Overview

For over 40 years, quality has been at the core of everything we do.  Founded in 1979, WG Provisions is an entrepreneurial, family-owned company that strives to provide high quality meats and life-improving biomedical products. Our exclusive meats include: roasting pigs, rabbits, specialty meats, and fully cooked meats such as smoked brisket, shredded beef, and pulled pork.  WG Provisions has offered quality products and exceptional service proven by our loyal, long-standing customers. We create relationships that deliver the consistent quality and service needed to overcome our customers’ challenges. Our company operates two USDA federally inspected harvesting and processing plants in Jewell and Sidney, Iowa.

We take great pride in the quality of our products as well as the safety of our products, facilities, operations, and employees. At WG Provisions, our core values are honesty, consistency, and teamwork. By living out those values, we foster an environment where employees and our customers can count on us.

This position is located at our Smokehouse in Jewell, Iowa.  At this location, we produce high quality smoked meats that are sold throughout the United States to restaurants, food service operations, and caterers.  Our smokehouse brands are known by our customers for excellent flavor, tenderness, and high-quality meats. 

The position requires a team player who has a can-do attitude, works effectively with a team, follows through, and gets the job done.  The position requires working in an interdisciplinary team with a variety of tasks and challenges. 

The Smokehouse Plant Manager will serve as the head and lead of our Smokehouse operations, planning, organizing, directing, and running optimum day to day operations to exceed our customers’ expectations.  The Plant Manager will lead the operation and team to increase production and capacity, while minimizing unnecessary costs and maintaining our high-quality standards.  The Plant Manager will provide leadership and planning to the Smokehouse team to ensure growth and retention, so individuals success becomes our team’s overall success. 

This position requires knowledge of production, leadership, team development, and operational effectiveness in the food manufacturing industry. This role is accountable to meet business standards for safety, quality, operational effectiveness, and financial performance. To create a safe work environment, this role ensures the plant equipment is tested regularly, and the plant conditions are sufficient and sanitary in accordance with the USDA. This role is directly responsible for implementing a smooth workflow for all meat processes. This position maximizes production floor efficiency, while simultaneously guaranteeing product quality, food safety, and safety of employees. Key performance measures include operational efficiencies, safety, team retention, and team growth. 

This position is based in our Smokehouse facility in Jewell, Iowa.  This position reports to the President and Owner.

Responsibilities of Harvest Manager:

  • Production
    • Oversee all production activities in accordance with plant policies, programs, and standards concerning safety, quality, productivity, and cost.
    • Manage an operation that achieves efficiency and food safety
    • Identify improvements and implement new processes and equipment which support an efficient operation; strive for an operation with continuous improvement
    • Ensure maintenance of all necessary production records and identify areas that are not meeting targets
    • Manage the operation to identified KPIs and proactively identify solutions which meet and exceed needed KPIs
    • Partner with purchasing, sales, etc to plan and manage production
    • Assure product quality assurance guidelines are met and work cooperatively with Quality team
    • Assure conformance to governing USDA regulations, including SQF, HACCP, SSOP’s, and SOP’s.
    • Oversee new product testing as requested, keeping applicable records on product.
    • Own the relationship with USDA FSIS and work to ensure it is open, responsive, and positive
    • Assist sales and marketing personnel in new product development with existing or new customers; may result in direct communication with customers, customer trips, etc.
    • Schedule production according to sales and target inventory.
    • Investigate production delays and guide team to take corrective action as necessary
  • Quality
    • Foster a quality mindset in all positions
    • Manage quality team members and ensure daily quality processes are adhered to
    • Responsible to bring all quality issues to President working in conjunction with Quality Manager.
    • Work with Quality Manager to develop and improve quality processes, team, documentation, etc. 
    • Oversee and lead all external and internal audits in partnership with the Quality Manager
    • Ensure corrective action in response to plant, product micro testing, audits, etc; drive resolutions to NRs and other quality issues
  • Team Development and Management
    • Own staffing plan for the Smokehouse; develop overall organizational plan for Smokehouse and Sanitation Crew
    • Develop individuals and teams working with key managers and supervisors, President, and human resources
    • Work directly with Smokehouse leadership and President to identify skill gaps and plans to hire/train to fill those needs
    • Identify, train, and develop leaders within the Smokehouse
    • Identify skillsets and train team members in raw processing, marinading, seasoning, smoking, food safety, pack off, and other related skills
    • Accountable for management of all Smokehouse staff
    • Administer established wage scale, vacations, and other employee benefits to production staff; make recommendations for compensation and employee rewards to President.
    • Define and ensure implementation of employee training; includes areas but not limited to company GMP’s, SSOP’s, SOP’s.  This includes employee sessions on food safety with documentation entered in employee files.
    • Drive company and Smokehouse culture and communicate Smokehouse vision/strategy/initiatives throughout the organization, alongside company President and other leaders.


  • Strategy and Leadership
    • Ensure that departmental decisions and project plans such as those for staffing, development, organization, material efficiency, hardware acquisitions, and facilities are in line with the organizations business plan and vision
    • Provide continual leadership and guidance to team members for the purpose of increasing their effectiveness and establishing good working relationships.
    • Actively promote plant safety and environmental programs and procedures that are in compliance with plant and regulatory requirements.
    • Actively promote adherence to Quality, Sanitation, HACCP, and USDA standards to achieve a finished product within quality control specifications.
    • Work with leadership to apply disciplinary actions in accordance with plant policies and procedures.
    • Assign responsibilities to team members, as required to meet planned production schedule.
    • Keep the President informed and promptly notify of issues significantly impacting production.
    • Promote an environment conducive to teams, teamwork, and line-driven accountability.
    • Serve as a key member of our Meats division – identifying new business areas, thought leadership, improvements, etc. 
    • Represent the company in our industry and with our partners
    • Provide vision which includes monitoring the competitive landscape and attending industry events to stay abreast of new initiatives and ways to stay ahead
  •   Facility Maintenance
    • Work in Partnership with Production Support Manager and Maintenance Technician to maintain the facility and equipment, establishing both short term initiatives and long term plans.
    • Recommend physical changes, improvements, and repairs to maintain or improve the condition of the plant or result in greater productivity, improved safety, etc.
    • Continually monitor for plant and personnel safety; make recommendations for improvements.
    • Challenge current equipment and production procedures – recommend alternatives for improved productivity and efficiency
    • Lead team through plant renovation and improvements


  • Inventory Management
    • Ensure inventory of all raw materials, ingredients, package & supply materials, and sanitation supplies used in the plant are maintained and managed.
    • Ensure monthly physical inventory of all products, package & supplies, raw materials, and other supplies are taken


  • Other duties
    • Other duties as instructed by President to help improve and grow our Smokehouse operations


  • Qualifications and Skills:
  • Animal/Meat Science, Agriculture, or Business Degree preferred
  • High school diploma/GED required
  • 5 plus years of experience in a food manufacturing facility with a minimum of 2 years in supervisory/management
  • Strong business acumen
  • Strong written and oral customer communication skills
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary and distributed team
  • Strong analytical work ethic, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong computer skills; basic-to-intermediate skill level in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Teams; QuickBooks skills are a plus
  • Role model of sound judgement, personal responsibility, and a team player
  • Ability to maintain high expectations for self and others, demonstrating a dedication to achievement of results.
  • Highly organized, self-motivated, and responsive
  • Excellent time management skills, ability to multi-task, and prioritize work
  • Passion for agriculture, livestock, and meat industry
  • A “can do” attitude; a problem solver; a “let’s make this better” philosophy

Reports to:  President and Owner

5 years+
Travel Required:
Resume Required:
606 Lyon St.
Jewell, IA
Contact Person:
Ashlee Lamberson
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:
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