HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Arthur W. Perdue, a hard working railway express agent on Maryland's Eastern Shore, noticed that the most prosperous farmers were those shipping table eggs. He also noticed Pearl Parsons. In 1917, he wed Pearl, and decided to become a poultry man. Pearl tended a backyard flock of layers adjacent to the couple's new home in Salisbury, while Arthur saved up enough money to go into the poultry business full time.
Perdue has been family-owned and operated since our company's founding in 1920. Our growth and success have been guided by three generations of leaders passionate about quality, integrity and trust.
Jim Perdue grew up in the family business, but didn't decide to make it his career right away. In 1983, he accepted his dad Frank's invitation to return to the family business, joining the company as an entry-level management trainee in quality assurance.
After working many different management jobs in just about every area of the company and earning his master’s degree in business administration along the way, Jim became chairman in 1991 and took over as advertising spokesperson in 1995.
Jim is guiding the company toward its second century of ownership by holding fast to the values he inherited from his grandfather and father and responding to consumers and other stakeholders.
As a result, Perdue Farms has become the first major company to move away from all routine antibiotic use, the number one producer of USDA certified chicken and a leader in improving animal care.
Frank Perdue began helping his father as soon as he was big enough to hold a chick in two hands. In 1939, at the age of 19, Frank Perdue left college to join the family 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.
In 1920, Arthur W. Perdue completed his plan for going into business for himself. He gave up a promising career as a railroad agent on the rural Eastern Shore of Maryland to manage his backyard table-egg business.
Mr. Arthur, as everyone called him, was known for his concern for people, his frugality, his love of reading and poetry, and a dedication to his faith and hard work. His values of quality, integrity, trust and teamwork still make an impact on our company today. Mr. Arthur was active in the business up until his death in 1977 at age 91.