Windell Talley is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Poultry Science Department. In 1963, he and his wife, Judy, purchased 90 acres of farm land and began the operation of Talley Farms. They built a brooder house and ranged turkeys, producing 4,000 turkeys for market their first year. Additional acreage was later purchased and grow-out facilities were built to accommodate increased production. Windell and Judy subsequently built a small feed mill in order to feed for the growing number of turkeys they produced. Over the years, the feed mill has been modernized and expanded to accommodate an annual production of 100,000 tons of feed.
When Windell and Judy’s three sons - Nelson, Paul, and David - followed in their fatherâ€™s footsteps by also graduating from North Carolina State University, they returned to the family farm, necessitating a further expansion. Talley Farms Inc. was then formed by Windell, Paul, and David to produce 4,5 million turkey hatching eggs under contract to Swift Ekrich, Inc. The agreement was continued by Prestage Farms when they built their own hatchery.
In 2006, Talley Farms purchased the balance of Cuddy Farms’ land and production facilities in North Carolina for utilization in the production of additional turkey meat birds, turkey egg production, and beef cattle production. Currently, Talley Farms Inc. is producing some 9 million hatching eggs and approximately 800,000 meat birds, 80% of which are vegetable fed, non-antibiotic birds. `
As and early testament to the vision and drive of Windell and Judy Talley, they were selected by the National Farm Bureau in 1969 as one of three Outstanding Young Farm Couples. Windell and Judy attribute the success of Talley Farms from its very inception to the hard work of their entire family: son Nelson and his wife, Angie, and their children, Sarah, Allison and Andrew; son Paul and his wife, Patti, and their children, Jesse, Logan, and Wil; and son David and his wife, Stacy, and their children, Lauren, Emily, and Samantha; and to the hard work of all Tally Farms Employees.
Windell Talley’s 44 years of experience and expertise in poultry production have garnered him numerous distinctions through the years. He served two six-year terms on the North Carolina state Board of Agriculture, having been first appointed by Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr. and later by Governor James G. Martin. He also served on the Governor’s Task Force on Farm Economy and the Governor’s Farm Workers Council. Windell is a past President of the North Carolina Turkey Federation and has served several terms on the Board of the National turkey Federation. He also serviced on North Carrolina State University’s Ag Foundation board for many years. Windell is very active in his local community, as well, having served on Stanly memorial Hospital’s board of directors for 16 years and as its Chairman for the last two years. He is also a past president of the Stanly County Farm Bureau and is a past Vice President of the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce.
In honor and recognition of his pioneering spirit and numerous contributions to the growth and development of North Carolina’s entire poultry industry, the Officers and Directors of the North Carolina Poultry Federation are very pleased to induct Windell talley into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame, this the 1st day of November, 2006.