Clinic Stories

A Tattered Cover

While working in the poultry industry I met many very successful hicks and learned not to judge a book by its cover. While launching a new product our company's General Manager from New Jersey joined the road crew to visit clients in Alabama. He was fine with the big name companies—Tyson, ConAgra, Perdue—but did not respect the independent producers.

Enter Ned Harrell of Southland Broilers in Enterprise, AL, the deep South. Ned lacks sophistication and comes off as a good old boy, but had started one poultry complex, sold it to ConAgra, then started another. After we left the General Manager could not stop ridiculing him though we insisted that he was selling Ned short.

At our next stop the customer told a story about Ned. He had run into Ned's daughter, a stewardess for Delta, in Miami where she pulled up in a Rolls Royce. “Where did you get a Rolls Royce?” he asked. Mocking a Southern Belle, he said she replied “My Daddy bought it for me.”

The General Manager stopped making fun of Ned and later lost his job. Unable to find another executive position he went to work in his family business. Ned Harrell continues to oversee Southland Broilers with his son taking care of the day to day operations. What a hick.

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