John H. Livingston


John Livingston was born and grew up near Pollard’s Bend in rural Cherokee County. After graduating from Cherokee County High School, Livingston enrolled at Auburn in the fall of 1936. As part of his Auburn degree, Livingston took two classes in poultry science, one under the legendary Professor John Cottier. This course, in particular, was to have a profound influence on his later career. He graduated from Auburn with a B.S. degree in agricultural administration in 1940.

After graduating from Auburn, Livingston worked for a few months with USDA Bureau of Entomology in New Orleans. In 1941, he returned to Alabama as an assistant county agent in Morgan County. In November of 1941, he joined the U.S. Navy and began a distinguished service career that spanned from the bombing of Pearl Harbor until the end of World War II.

After the war, Livingston returned to Morgan County and had an opportunity to head one of two poultry cooperatives sponsored by the Extension Service. He headed one in Albertville which was also the site of a fruit and vegetable cooperative. Armed with a small building, with virtually no equipment, $22,300 in start-up money, and a never-ending will to succeed, John Livingston played a key role in starting what is now a $7.5 billion industry.

In 1965, Wayne Feed Company purchased the cooperative in Albertville and tapped Livingston as president of the newly named Wayne Poultry Company. Under his leadership, Wayne Poultry Company grew into one of the industry leaders and remains so today. He retired from the company in 1982.

During leave from the Navy in 1944, Livingston married Virginia Carpenter. Together now for 52 years, John and Virginia have five children and 11 grandchildren. The Livingstons retired to Cedar Bluff, near John’s home in Cherokee County.