The Farmer John plant in Vernon (3049 East Vernon Avenue, 90058) is especially well-decorated with pictures of pigs seemingly straight out of a children’s book. Who cares about the horrors of butchering and the industrial processes of meat rendering going on inside this meat processing plant when you have such lovely murals on the outside! The Farmer John company started business in 1931 under the name Cloughtery Packing (the Farmer John brand was introduced in 1953). Over the years they grew into Southern California’s premier processed pork supplier, slaughtering more than 1.5 million pigs a year. In 2004, the company was acquired by Hormel; Hormel continues to support the Farmer John brand and also maintains the murals.
The lineage of painters on this venerable mural project is as follows: Les Grimes — 1957-1968; Arno Jordan — 1968-2000; Philip Slagter — 2000 and on.
[Photos courtesy of Noah Albert]