Don Oppliger, Texas entrepreneur/cattle feeder/farmer, was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday in Castro County, Tex. He was 68.
The Amarillo Globe News reports the Castro County Sheriff’s office was called to a crash site in a wheat field shortly after 8 a.m. An investigation by the Castro County Sheriff’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety identified Oppliger as the pilot and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Oppliger began his career with rented farmland in Hereford in 1980 where he grew corn for Frito-Lay Company. At the time of his death, the Oppliger Companies had grown into a large, diversified agribusiness operation headquartered in Amarillo.
According to the company’s web site, the operations include a 55,000-acre farming operation and feedyards that finish more than 230,000 head of cattle per year in “six large-scale feedlots spread across the Texas High Plains, Eastern New Mexico, and Nebraska.” Additional interests include a dairy and thousands of acres of ranchland in western Nebraska.
The company currently operates 10 locations across the Texas Panhandle, eastern New Mexico and Nebraska.