John Frank Pendergrass
Born in 1936 in Paris, Logan County, John Frank Pendergrass is a fifth-generation cattle rancher who has become known as an innovator in the stocker and feeder cattle business.
As president of Pendergrass Cattle Company in Charleston, Pendergrass is still active on the Pendergrass Ranch in Franklin County, which sits on land his great, great-grandfather first settled after the Civil War. He took over operations of Pendergrass Cattle from his father in 1972 and has built one of the top beef herds in the state. He was one of the first in the state to implement a program of preconditioning weaned calves and this, along with his continued focus on innovation and efficiency and dedication to animal care, helped earn him recognition as 2008 Arkansas Stocker of the Year by the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and the 2008 National Stocker Award from Beef magazine, representative of the top stocker herd in the United States.
Pendergrass graduated from County Line High School in Franklin County in 1954 and he attended both the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. As a young man, he was a member of 4-H and Future Farmers of America, and has continued to be involved in industry and community organizations ever since.
Pendergrass has served as a member and past president of the Franklin County Cattleman’s Association and has served as a member of the Arkansas Cattleman’s Association state board of directors. His commitment to improving rural life in Arkansas is illustrated by his long service on the Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative board of directors, which he joined in 1962. He served as chairman of that board twice and is also a member of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation board.
In addition, Pendergrass was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the Arkansas State Committee of the Agriculture Stabilization Conservation Service in 1977 and he is a member of the National Beef Association, where he served as chairman of the political action committee and on the food and safety committee, foreign trade committee and membership committee.