Rudy’s Farm

Rudy’s Farm, once home to the Rudy Sausage Company, was a family operation dating back to 1881. Daniel Rudy made and sold his own sausage in Nashville on a farm near the railroad on Lebanon Road. His son, Jacob Ludwig, continued the sausage operation and taught his own sons, Frank and Dan Rudy. In the cold winter months, they killed the hogs, ground them into sausage, and hauled the sausage to various merchants in wooden tubs, measuring out the desired amounts with a wooden paddle. Due to the family’s dedication, this small operation managed to stay profitable, despite local competition and hard economic times in the early 1930s. When Jacob Rudy died in 1936, his sons Frank and Dan assumed the duties and expenses of the farm and slowly began its modernization and expansion into a large sausage and pork products company.

During World War II the Rudys intensified their farming effort by farming twelve hundred acres, at times with the assistance of German prisoners of war. In 1945 Dan and Frank Rudy incorporated the business. Frank directed the actual hog kills while Dan was in charge of the sausage production. As the business grew they hired a sales manager, bookkeeper and secretary and acquired a refrigerated truck. The Rudys built a 2,700-square-foot sausage plant and, by late 1950, were making about five thousand pounds of sausage a month. In 1962 a modern plant was built to meet the U.S. government inspection standards and eventually Rudy’s employed about 175 people making hundreds of thousands of pounds of sausage.

Milton Schloss of Kahn’s Meats in Cincinnati, Ohio, was instrumental in the sale of Rudy’s Farm to Kahn’s, a subsidiary of Consolidated Foods, now the Sara Lee Corporation. Early in 1990, the old Rudy Sausage Company plant was physically moved to Newbern in Dyer County, where the Sara Lee Corporation now manages the operation.

Citation Information

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  • Article Title Rudy’s Farm
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
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  • Access Date June 14, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018