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DAA: Jeffrey M. Luckman

Jeffrey Luckman

Jeffrey M. Luckman

Newport News, VA | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2005

At a young age, Jeffrey Luckman learned one of life’s key lessons as he worked alongside his father, a comptroller in the meat wholesale business: Work hard; give back; and you’ll succeed. You’ll grow along the way, too. A native New Yorker, Luckman took his first big step when he left the east coast for Purdue, drawn by the university’s reputation in veterinary medicine and agriculture. “My parents taught me to act and think independently,” Luckman recalls, “even when my choices took me far from home.” Learning the production side through volunteer work on a hog farm and his first job as district sales manager for DeKalb Swine Breeders were part of the maturing process, and helped hone Luckman’s professional path — one that combined a love of animals, an interest in genetics and animal science, and strong people skills. After seven years in sales, and distinction as the top breeding stock sales representative in Indiana, Luckman embraced a new challenge. His accomplishments in the livestock procurement arena—first with Kahn’s, then John Morrell & Company and, presently, Smithfield Foods—have focused on production, research, sales, and management. Throughout his tenure as vice president for livestock procurement for Smithfield Foods, Luckman has contributed significantly to the company’s growth, from $1 billion in annual sales ten years ago to $10 billion in 2004. He is responsible for three domestic and three foreign subsidiaries and is credited with taking Polish subsidiary Animex from near bankruptcy to profitability in 2002. Programs developed by Luckman significantly enhanced the success and expansion of Polish hog suppliers. Throughout the journey, Luckman has always remembered his father’s formula. Rewards, he says, have been reflected in his growth, and the advancements of others. “The education and knowledge Purdue provided has enabled me to make lasting contributions in business - nationally, internationally, and in my community. I hope to give back to Purdue as much as the university gave me.”