DONALD W. MADE
Donald W. Mabe is widely recognized as a leader in the development of the modem broiler lndustry. He was born in Kemersville in 1931, and attended North Carolina State University where he graduated from the Department of Poultry Science in 1953. In 1952, Don married "Flo' Joyce and they have four children.
Immediately upon graduation, Don served for two years In the U.S. Army Infantry, following which he was released as a 1st Lieutenant. He then joined the sales and service staff of Fair Acre Feeds in Winder, Georgia, where he worked for a period of two years. In 1957, he joined Perdue Farms, Salisbury, Maryland, as a sales and service agent. Due to his personal initiative, lnnovativeness, and integrity, Don moved quickly through a number of positions within the Perdue organization, rising to the level of Chief Executive Officer in 1988, the position he held at the time of his retirement in 1991. In that position, he had full responsibility for the day-to-day operations of Perdue Farms.
Perdue Farms is the recognized leader of quality poultry products in the eastern and northeastern United States. In 1957, when Don joined Perdue, sales were $3 million and the company had 100 employees. When he retired, sales were over $1 billion and the company had over 12,000 employees. Don was Instrumental in helping Frank Perdue and his staff launch programs that showed the power of quality products, and of quality advertising and marketing. He understood the importance of and was deeply Involved in the hiring of well trained, high quality personnel. Don Mabe believed in people and had confidence that if the employees of Perdue Farms were treated right, the company would be successful. The consumers of Perdue's products and their needs were of utmost Importance to him. He was one of the major Influences in Perdue’s straightforward approach to developing and shaping markets through advertising and the delivery of quality products.
Don Mabe made many contributions to his company and to the Industry. He was given the lead responsibility for many of the company’s major undertakings, including the development of its hatching egg operations, first on Delmarva and later in North Carolina. He converted an old plant into Perdue’s first major processing operation in Maryland, and he was instrumental in the development of all of the Perdue operations in North Carolina. Those operations have had, and continue to have, major economic Impact in many parts of this state. Don Mabe simply applied his Poultry Science and people skills well, and used them to assist the Perdue organization to develop a first-class integrated agribusiness company.
Don Mabe’s contributions did not stop with the company and the industry. He also served on the boards of a local hospital, bank, utility, Salisbury State College, and the Private lndustry Council. He is a man who was dedicated to his work, family, and church. In 1983, he received Delmarva’s Distinguished Service Award -- proper recognition for his many accomplishments. ln 1986, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award for the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at N. C. State, the highest recognition given for former students of the College. Indicative of his life, Don and Flo established the Mabe Scholarship Endowment in the N. C. Agricultural Foundation. This endowment annually provides a scholarship for a student following in his footsteps in the NCSU Department of Poultry Science.
Don Mabe is truly a leader who contributed greatly to the growth and development of the North Carolina poultry industry, and the North Carolina Poultry Federation is pleased to recognize him for his contributions and induct him on this the 25th day of August, 1995, Into the prestigious North Carolina Poultry Hal of Fame.