Since 1958, we have been dedicated to creating the highest quality duck products on the market. From our humble family beginnings, to our international business ventures, we have grown substantially into an industry leader today while still adhering to our original values. This is the story of Maple Leaf Farms.
Founded by Donald Wentzel in 1958, Maple Leaf Farms started out as a small duck operation in Northern Indiana dedicated to producing products with "quality you can count on.” In its first year, the company produced only 280,000 ducks. Today, Maple Leaf Farms has grown its annual duck production to more than 9-12 million.
Wentzel was convinced that the U.S. duck industry could grow significantly if the right care was put into it. Although he passed away in 1968, Wentzel imparted this vision to his son-in-law, Terry Tucker, who has been with the company since 1963. Under Tucker's leadership, the company made several strategic moves to grow the business and become more vertically integrated, emerging as a market leader.
In 2001, Wentzel's grandsons, Scott and John Tucker, were named co-presidents of Maple Leaf Farms and leveraged the company's expertise into new business opportunities.
Today, the fourth generation has joined the family business and together the Tucker family continues to set the direction for the company based on its values and commitment to family, community and, of course, quality products.
Maple Leaf Farms is extremely proud of its heritage and the history we have made to become the leader in the duck industry.
Terry, [and the Tucker Family] are pillars in the agricultural community and world, for that matter. They’ve revolutionized and shaped entire sectors of the industry. Agriculture would not be where it is today without their contribution.Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture Director | 2019 AgriVision Awards
These families represent the very best of Indiana agriculture. They’ve dedicated their lives to improving the industry and the lives of those around them. Recognizing their legacy today is a small token of our gratitude for a lifetime of service.Susan Crouch, Indiana Lt. Governor | 2019 AgriVision Awards
Timeline of Maple Leaf Farms
Maple Leaf Farms is founded by Donald Wentzel
Don buys existing poultry plant after deciding to leave the feed trade in Chicago. A simple idea sparked it all: bring the ducks to where the feed is.
280,000 Ducks Raised in First Year
During Maple Leaf Farms first year 280,000 ducks were raised in our Milford location.
Terry Tucker Joins the Company
Terry joins Maple Leaf Farms full time after graduating from Purdue. He and Sandra, Don's daughter, married several years prior after meeting while Terry worked part-time unloading ducks.
Leadership Responsibilities are Transferred to Terry
After Don's unexpected death, Terry is promoted to Executive Vice President and assumes leadership of our company.
Serenade Foods Established
Our Serenade processing facility is built to create value added duck products such as our famous Roast Half Duck.
Feed Mill & Hatchery Built
Our feed mill and hatchery are built to help further our vertical integration process. We can finally craft our own feed for ducks and create an optimal environment for eggs.
Purchase of C&D
Terry leads our company in the acquisition of C&D Foods, making us the #1 duck producer in North America. This leads to the establishment our Maple Leaf Farms Wisconsin division.
New Breeding Facilities Built
High biosecurity clearance level farm and hatchery facilities built throughout the 90s to secure the health of our duck breeding stock.
Tucker Brothers Promoted to Co-Presidents
John & Scott Tucker are promoted to Co-President roles. They assume daily management oversight of the company. Terry oversees them as CEO.
MLF Biotech is Formed
MLF Biotech, Inc. is established to develop new food safety measures and testing along with research on duck health.
China Joint Venture is Formed
Our Joint Venture in China is established to raise breeder ducks on our own farms in China. This later becomes MLF China when we acquire the other half of the joint venture.
New HQ Opens
After outgrowing our Milford office, a majority of our corporate staff moves into a new headquarters down the road in Leesburg.
Duck Truck Introduced
Our Duck Truck is created to help sample duck to the masses at festivals and events nationwide. Starting as the "Duck Mobile," it is now called "The Duck & Cluck Truck."
About the Maple Leaf Family
MEET THE MAPLE LEAF FARMS FAMILY
Four generations of Tucker family ownership and decades of dedicated employees make up our family. Get to know our Maple Leaf Farms community and the Tucker family's commitment to fostering a caring team.
Maple Leaf Farms is committed to our community and environment through everything we do. From the farms, to our facilities we aim to keep our practices socially responsible and ethically grounded.