The WI Livestock and Meat Council Inc. is a 58-year-old company located in Wisconsin. They established the WI Meat Industry Hall of Fame to recognize the contributions of individuals who have had a significant impact on the meat industry of Wisconsin. These contributions may be business ventures, ideas, processes, inventions, or any other effort that has positively influence the people and environment of Wisconsin. Don MacFarlane, who started his pheasant business in Janesville Wisconsin, was inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame on May 4, 2017. His company lives on as MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc and has grown to be the largest Pheasant farm in North America, owned and operated by Don’s son, Bill MacFarlane.
Don started his pheasant business in Janesville WI in 1935 and continued to grow the business for the next 50 years. In 1945 Don contracted polio, but even though he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair or struggling to walk with crutches, he loved life, his community and his business, and MacFarlane Pheasants continued to thrive. One of his accomplishments was developing a white feathered pheasant through selective crossbreeding with ringneck pheasants. These white pheasants continue to be a big part of our business and are raised exclusively for our Food Division at Macfarlane Pheasants.
Don made many contribution to the community during his years as the owner and operator of MacFarlane Pheasants. His brother in law, Jim Adamson joined the business in the 1950s and ran day to day operations while Don ran the office, built up the business and participated in the community. Don’s family is proud to have Don’s contributions to the meat industry recognized. You can read Don’s entire story on our blog site in an article titled, The History of MacFarlane Pheasants, Part 2: All in the Family.