Dennis Ramsey was born in 1914 in New Bem, North Carolina. His father and his mother’s father were both railroad men, and the Ramseys lived in several eastern North Carolina towns, including Raleigh. Dennis graduated from N.C. State College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in June, 1935.
Following graduation, Dennis was employed briefly as an assistant master mechanic with a cotton mill. However, he quickly located a new opportunity with the Pennsylvania Railroad in their motive power department and worked for the railroad in a number of positions until he entered the U.S. Army at the beginning of World War II.
Following the War, Dennis and the late Mrs. Ramsey opened a motion-picture theater in Rose Hill, NC. They operated the theater for 10 years until the television industry stimulated them to look for other business opportunities. Dennis became intrigued with the idea of producing chickens after many visits to his wife’s family in Georgia who were engaged in the chicken business. .
In 1954, Dennis introduced commercial poultry production to Duplin County. He built a chicken house himself to show good faith in the project and started contracting with local farmers to grow chickens for sale. He provided the feed, chicks, supervision, and marketed the broilers, sharing the proceeds with the growers. From this beginning, he formed partnerships with Shelton Lewis of Smithfield in a hatchery and with E. T. Watson, Sr., of Raleigh in a processing operation. The poultry industry in Duplin County has prospered from this early beginning until today the farm income in the county exceeds $120,000,000.
Mr. Ramsey was the first President of the North Carolina Poultry Federation and was instrumental in helping to develop the National Broiler Council. He was truly a pioneer in developing the broiler industry in Duplin County, in North Carolina, and the nation. The North Carolina Poultry Federation is proud to induct Dennis Ramsey into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame.