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Randy Day took over as CEO of Perdue Farms, the giant Salisbury-based producer of poultry and meat products, in 2017, becoming only the fourth CEO in the company’s nearly century-old history.

He earned his master’s degree in poultry nutrition from the University of Maryland, College Park.

What is the most important thing you do in  your job?

I primarily focus on three key areas. One is talent management. We must have the right players on the team who do the right things for our business in the right ways. Another is strategic planning, from determining the right mix of products and where we should invest, to ensuring operational efficiency. Third is our company’s financial performance. We have an obligation to be good stewards of our dollars.

Who was your most significant mentor, and what did you learn from that person?

I worked under Frank Perdue for a long time, who taught me a lot about business and people. He was a great visionary on how to build our business, and was obsessed with quality and the importance of connecting with consumers.

Jim Perdue brings an authentic people-first approach to leadership, and shows sincere interest and empathy for all of our associates.

Another tremendous mentor in my life was my father, Rev. Ralph Day, who instilled in me the values of servant leadership and integrity.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?

I would probably still be doing something in agriculture. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and what I’m passionate about.