Aaron Kiesel is co-owner of Dewig Brothers Packing Company, Inc., located in Haubstadt, Indiana. He started working at Dewig Meats in June of 1996 during high school. He did various jobs around the plant such as clean up, packaging, and waiting on customers. His work at Dewig Meats interested him, and he went on to pursue a degree at Purdue University in Meat Science with an emphasis in processed meat. Aaron came back to Dewig Meats full time after college where he eventually took over the sausage kitchen and the job responsibilities that the job entails. Aaron started dating the bosses’ daughter, then Darla Dewig, in 2004 and they were married in 2007. Aaron and Darla now have three children, Jarrett age 14, and twin girls, Addison and Heidi, age 8. Aaron’s responsibilities at Dewig Meats have continuously grown, and his dedication and attention to detail has not only improved the entire processed line at Dewig Meats, but also made Aaron a tough cured meat competitor at the state, national and international level of cured meat competition. Aaron oversees Dewig Meats’ entire processed meat division, curing and smoking departments, along with daily HACCP responsibilities.
Aaron and Darla work with many members of both the Dewig and Kiesel families including Tom and Janet Dewig, Dean and Karen Dewig, Austin and Jade Dewig and many cousins and relatives. Dewig Meats added on a 12,000 square foot addition in 2011 including 102 feet of meat case and 39 self-serve cooler and freezer doors packed with their extensive line of fresh and smoked sausages, cured and smoked meats, fresh and frozen beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, frozen fruits, vegetables and additional condiments. Dewig Meats is a federal inspected meat processing facility that slaughters, sells both wholesale and retail and has a catering department. Dewig Meats has grown drastically in the past 15 years and now has approximately 85 employees.
Dewig Meats produces over 200 varieties of fresh and smoked sausages such as bratwurst, Polish sausage, hot dogs, bologna as well as several authentic German sausages such as head cheese, liver sausage, blutwurst and scrapple.
Aaron enjoys competing in many cured meat competitions such as the Indiana Meat Packers & Processors Association, the American Association of Meat Processors, the Wurstfest in Hermann, MO and the IFFA competition for sausage and ham. Aaron has received 253 awards in his 13 years of cured meat competition. This includes at the Indiana Meat Packers and Processors Association competitions where he has won 51 Grand Champion awards, 21 Reserve Grand Champion awards, 20 Champion awards, 7 Reserve Champion awards, 3 Tom Katen Cured Meats Excellence awards, and 2 Best of Show awards. In AAMP competitions Aaron has received 28 Grand Champion awards, 26 Reserve Grand Champion awards, 11 Champion awards, 14 Reserve Champion awards, 4 Cured Meat Excellence awards, and 1 Best of Show award.
Aaron is an active member of St. Lucas United Church of Christ where he serves on the board of directors. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports such as the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars, St. Louis Cardinals Baseball, University of Evansville and Indiana University basketball and Purdue University football.
Congratulations to Aaron Kiesel on being inducted into the AAMP Cured Meats Hall of Fame for 2021.
-Executive Director, American Association of Meat Processors