Former Cargill leader Niemann named Cooks Venture CEO

John Niemann brings his experience in regenerative agriculture and the poultry industry to lead Cooks Venture.

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John Niemann
John Niemann
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John Niemann has been named CEO of Cook’s Venture, an integrated poultry business with genetics for a slower-growth, pasture-raised poultry.

Niemann is an experienced leader within the poultry and animal protein business, having worked for Cargill for more than 20 years. His leadership positions within Cargill include stints as President of Protein Ingredients and International, president of Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats Division and the Cargill Food Distribution business.

Niemann is also a former National Turkey Federation (NTF) Executive Committee member. In 2015, Niemann was honored with the Kansas State University College of Agriculture Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

His more recent ventures include involvement with Prime Dirt Midwest and Asido Biologicals, where he will remain an investor and board member.

According to a press release from Cook’s Venture, Niemann’s experience in the meat and poultry industries, coupled with his entrepreneurial background and expertise running a business that improves soil and animal health, made him an ideal choice for the CEO position. His leadership style, passion for innovation, and commitment to relentless improvement in the industry are exactly what is needed for Cooks Venture to capitalize on its customer demand and continue its growth trajectory.

Cooks Venture board member, Matt Feldman said, “We are delighted to welcome John as our new chief executive. John is a dynamic, values-driven business leader whose background and expertise aligns precisely with Cooks Venture’s mission. He has exceptional strategic capabilities, proven operational effectiveness, and an entrepreneurial nature which is exactly what is needed for the company’s next stage of growth. The board looks forward to supporting John and the team as they continue to deliver long-term value to the business and delighting consumers with flavorful, high-quality protein.”

“I am excited to lead Cooks Venture,” added Niemann. “This business has an impressive opportunity for growth and positive impact, and the chance to create meaningful change and a ‘better for you’ protein through a farm-to-fork regenerative poultry business. I look forward to working with the team to deliver on Cooks Venture’s full potential.”

Founded in 2019 by Matthew Wadiak, former chief operating officer of Blue Apron, Cooks Venture is a Global Animal Partnership Step 4 certified company, Certified Humane, and verified non-GMO. Cooks Venture’s breed, the Pioneer, is an approved slow-growing breed by the Better Chicken Commitment.

Wadiak previously served as the CEO of Cooks Venture.

Amanda Parker named chief commercial officer

In addition to Niemann’s appointment, Cooks Venture recently hired Amanda Parker as chief commercial officer.

Parker brings over fifteen years of experience and leadership within the retail and CPG food industry to her role. As CCO, Parker will continue building on Cooks Venture’s growing retail presence while expanding the brand to reach new customers, channels and geographies.

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