TUCKER, Ga. – Don Dalton, retired president of the US Poultry & Egg Association, died Jan. 19 at his home in Mayflower, Ark. He was 75. 


 Don Dalton

“We have lost a true patriot, a great leader, a patient mentor and a very dear friend,” said John Starkey, current USPOULTRY president. “Our hearts go out to Pat and their family at this difficult time. Don will be greatly missed by many.”

A native of St. Louis, Dalton received his B.S. in marketing from the Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock. He completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard School of Management. He enlisted in the Arkansas Air National Guard in 1957. After several call-ups to active duty, he ultimately retired as brigadier general and commander of the Arkansas National Guard.

Dalton is recognized as a poultry industry leader. He was vice president and general manager of Valmac Industries, a broiler processor in Arkansas that was later acquired by Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, Inc. At the time, he served on the board of trustees of what was then the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association, USPOULTRY. He was elected chairman of the Association in 1978.

Dalton is credited with initiating a USPOULTRY food safety and live production program to provide technical assistance to member firms and work more closely with government agencies. He also established an environmental management department to help poultry companies with increasing environmental challenges.

USPOULTRY noted that Dalton was instrumental in creating the US Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation, named for his predecessor. The original purpose of the Foundation was to fund recruitment of students for careers in the poultry industry. Currently, the Foundation also provides funding for industry research.

Dalton retired in November 2007, and USPOULTRY honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, the Poultry Science Association recognized his contributions to the industry as the recipient of its Merial Select Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award. In 2010, Dalton was inducted into the Poultry Hall of Fame.

Details about funeral arrangements will be posted on the USPOULTRY website.