Born in Columbus, Nebraska, Donald Lee Oppliger attended the University of Nebraska and started feeding cattle in the early 1980s in Texico, New Mexico.
Oppliger started his operation in 1980 by renting farm land in Hereford, Texas, and growing corn for Frito–Lay. He then purchased a 15,000–head feedlot in Farwell, Texas. The cattle-feeding operation thrived under Oppliger’s direction. His knowledge and experience in the cattle-feeding and farming industries enabled him to vertically
integrate his operation.
After relocating to the Texas-New Mexico
border, Oppliger began fine-tuning the integration of the cattle-feeding and farming operations and continued expanding. In 1991, he acquired a 35,000– head feedlot in Clovis, New Mexico, and more irrigated farmland to supply the new feedlot. Then, in 1998, Oppliger purchased a large farm in Lincoln County, Nebraska, on which he built a 55,000–head feedlot, later expanding it to 70,000.
In the last decade, the Oppliger Companies have acquired multiple ranches across western Nebraska, additional farmland in Nebraska and Texas, and two feedlots located near their larger farming operations. The ranches offer excellent pasture for cattle grazing as well as hunting grounds in the fall. The farmland, in addition to feeding cattle,
grows corn, soybeans, popcorn, grain
sorghum and potatoes for commercial sellers.
Through the use of innovative farming and feeding techniques and good business practices, the Oppliger Companies remain committed to producing quality beef and grain commodities. Such practices continue to fuel the growth of the Oppliger Companies. Oppliger was a passionate pilot who flew himself to his feedlots, farms and ranches. He died doing what he loved: flying. Oppliger is survived by his wife, Joi. He had two sons, Grant (deceased) and Ben.