R. Wayne McElrath


R. Wayne McElrath was born in Oklahoma on January 22, 1930, and raised in Cherokee County, Alabama, near Centre. He graduated from Auburn University in 1952 with a degree in agricultural education and served as a U.S. Army platoon commander in the Korean War.

McElrath devoted his time and his talents toward the betterment of agriculture, through Auburn University, the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association, and numerous other channels of service. During a career of more than 30 years, he contributed immeasurably to the welfare of poultry producers in Alabama and other states and was a major contributor to the poultry industry’s growth in Alabama.

An unqualified success in the poultry industry, McElrath held numerous positions of leadership for national poultry businesses before beginning his own commercial egg business in 1968. Two years later, he purchased Ralston Purina’s Albertville broiler division, where he had worked earlier in his career.

McElrath held numerous positions of leadership in the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association, including being chairman of the board in 1979. He was inducted into the AP&EA Poultry Hall of Fame in 1987. That same year, he established the Wayne and Nadine McElrath Scholarship Fund at Auburn University. He recently donated a home to the Big Oak Boys Ranch at Glencoe.

McElrath is married to the former Nadine Loyd of Gadsden and they have two children.