Frank Perdue began helping his father as soon as he was big enough to hold a chick in two hands. By age 10, his 4-H project – a flock of 50 layer hens – was earning him $20 a month. Despite his initial success in poultry, Frank dreamt of a career in baseball – though he admits to gathering more splinters on the bench than hits at bat.
In 1939, at the age of 19, Frank Perdue left college to join the business as its third full-time employee. Frank took over leadership of the business in 1950, nurturing the company through a period of phenomenal growth. He invested in the grain facilities, feed mills, soybean refinery and processing plants that allowed the company to expand into fresh poultry. Through his now-famous advertising campaign, which stressed his stubborn commitment to quality, he made the PERDUE® brand a household name.
"I owe all my success to my father – he taught me everything," said Frank. "He taught me about honesty and integrity and reliability; he taught me the importance of being a person of your word; and he taught me about quality. The tenets on which this company was built were all his, and all I did was expand on them."