J. K. Southerland developed a poultry operation beginning with 12 baby chicks, which he expanded to become the second largest such enterprise in the state. Mr. Sutherland’s business had its beginning in the 1930s on a small mortgaged farm at Floral, Arkansas. He later moved to Batesville, establishing a feed store, a small processing plant and a hatchery. He contracted with growers in Independence and surrounding counties to raise chickens, greatly increasing the prosperity of the region. Mr. Southerland soon established feed mills in other Arkansas cities, as well as a complete poultry operation in Clinton, that included production, milling and processing. His business grew from 10 employees in 1940 to 800 employees at the time the business was sold to Banquet Foods in the 1970s. Mr. Southerland served as president and later chairman of the board of the Citizens Bank in Batesville. He was generous in contributing to community institutions, including a gift of more than one-half million dollars to Williams Baptist College at Walnut Ridge. He contributed both financially and through service to many organizations, including the White River Medical Center, local and state Chambers of Commerce, the Poultry Federation, the Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission, the Arkansas Cattleman's Association and the National Broiler Council. Mr. Southerland’s many civic awards included a “Community Development Award” from the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce and “Citizen of the Year Award” from the Batesville Kiwanis Club.