Collier Wenderoth Jr., the chairman of Fort Smith-based OK Industries and a legend in the Arkansas and national poultry industry, has passed away. He was 87. The regional poultry processing company was began by Wenderoth’s father, reports theArkansas City Wire. He joined the small family operation selling feed for O.K. Feed Mills, and in 1955 became president of the company. Wenderoth added poultry processing and distribution and began a path of growth that would see the company post revenue of $928.3 million in 2010.

Today, OK Industries employs about 5,000 in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The company was one of the largest privately held operations based in Arkansas. The company operates large processing plants in Fort Smith and Heavener, Okla.

George Watt, former president of the National Chicken Council, said in a statement, “Collier Wenderoth was a visionary leader of the poultry industry, building his family company and the entire industry with it. He was always generous with his time and energy. As a business and civic leader, he commanded respect in Arkansas and across the country. He will truly be missed.”

For further remembrances about Wenderoth's life and career, as well as funeral information, visit the City Wire at

Source: Arkansas City Wire