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Made In Michiana: Maple Leaf Farms

LEESBURG, Ind. -- Made In Michiana is taking a look at Maple Leaf Farms in Leesburg, Indiana. It's a fourth generation company that's proud to provide quality duck to millions of people as close as northern Indiana, to clients as far as Asia.

It's world headquarters is nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Leesburg.

And it all started back in 1958, when Duck Feed Salesman Donald Wetzel left his job on the East Coast and ventured back home to northern Indiana to start his own duck farm.

"He was a true entrepreneur to venture out as he did, into what was a very fledgling industry at the time, and grow it to where what it is today, is I think quite an accomplishment," Maple Leaf Farms Co-President Scott Tucker said.

Today, co-presidents, and brothers, Scott and John Tucker head up the farm that's grown to employ nearly 1,000 people. Most are here in Michiana. And some work for the company as far away as China.

"There are other duck processors in the country. Maple Leaf is the largest in the United States... As I like to say, we’re kind of a big duck on a small pond," Tucker said.

The company's customers span the globe as well, shipping their products as far as Asia.

"We have a whole breadth of products. If there’s something made in duck we probably make it," Tucker said.

From duck meat, to duck down and feathers, Maple Leaf Farms processes its ducks for as many products as possible.

"We ship them to our company in Grand Rapids, and then they turn them into bedding products. Pillows, comforters, blankets," Tucker said.

Those products include flavorful food.

"As soon as they have that bite, they’re sold. And that’s the fun part about it," Tucker said.

And they are all bred, raised and processed right here in Michiana.

Maple Leaf Farms is celebrating its 60th anniversary. For more information on the company, click here.

If you have any ideas for our Made In Michiana series, shoot us an email at News57@ABC57.com.

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