WESTMINSTER, COLO. — Mel Coleman, Jr., fifth generation member of the Coleman ranching family and spokesperson for Coleman Natural Foods, has been inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame.
Coleman is one of six inductees in the class of 2021 and follows in the footsteps of his father, Mel Coleman, Sr., who was inducted in 2009.
In the 1970s, Coleman pursued an opportunity in the farm irrigation business, becoming a founding partner of Tumac Industries, which manufactures center pivot and linear irrigation systems, according to Coleman Natural Foods.
In 1984 he found himself drawn back to the family business and joined Coleman Natural Meats (as it was called at the time) as vice president of sales. In the mid-1990s he transitioned to Niman Ranch, supporting their special projects and sales.
In 2018 he shifted his focus back to Coleman Natural Foods, which is now part of Perdue Premium Meat Company.
Throughout his career, Mel has held numerous chair, board and committee seats for organizations such as the American Meat Institute, Organic Trade Association, American Farmland Trust and the Organic Food Alliance, where he is a founding member.
He has visited and worked with producers across America including Hawaii, Alaska, and Native American tribes, as well as with farmers and ranchers in Europe, England, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Uruguay, Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
“Mel has a passion for educating others both in and outside the industry on the importance of doing things not always the easy way, but the right way,” said Bart Vittori, Sr., general manager and vice president of Coleman Natural Foods.
“Working alongside my dad, getting the first natural beef label and working hard for organic standards left me outside looking in at various times, so being recognized by the committee, industry and my peers is one of the biggest honors of my career,” Coleman said. “Being part of this impressive circle is incredibly meaningful to me and my family.”