Don Dalton, retired president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) died on Monday, January 19 at home in Mayflower,  Arkansas.

Dalton served as vice president and general manager of Valmac Industries, a broiler processor in Arkansas, later acquired by Tyson Foods.  During his tenure at Valmac, he served on the board of directors of what was then the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association, now USPOULTRY.  He was elected chairman in 1978.

In 1989, Dalton joined the staff of USPOULTRY as vice president of government relations and the International Poultry Expo.  He was named president in 1992, following the retirement of long-time executive director Harold Ford.

During his time at USPOULTRY,  the International Poultry Expo (now the International Production & Processing Expo) extended its long run as the world’s largest poultry industry event.  USPOULTRY continued to reinvest millions of dollars into the industry through research funding.  Dalton also lead the expansion of education programs and initiated 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 assist poultry companies with increasing environmental challenges.  In addition, he was instrumental in creating the U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation.

Dalton retired in November 2007 and he was subsequently honored by USPOULTRY with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  In 2010, he was honored by the American Poultry Historical Society as an inductee into the Poultry Hall of Fame.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dalton attended the University of Arkansas and completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard School of Management.  He enlisted in the Arkansas Air National Guard in 1957 and ultimately retired as brigadier general and commander of the Arkansas National Guard.

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

Visitation will be held Monday, January 26 from 6-8 p.m., followed by a service to be held Tuesday, January 27 at 10:00 a.m. at the Conway Baptist Church. Interment will be held immediately after the service at the Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.