A prominent agribusiness man with ties to Holt County was killed over the weekend in a helicopter accident in Texas.
According to The Eastern New Mexcio News, Don Oppliger was piloting a helicopter and was its only occupant when it crashed in Castro County, Texas. One of Oppliger’s employees found the crash site early Sunday morning, but Parmer County Sheriff Randy Geries said Oppliger may have been killed as early as Saturday afternoon.
Family members began searching for Oppliger Saturday night when they realized he was missing. County officials joined in the search as well but the employee found the crash sight soon after.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
Oppliger operated owned and managed Oppliger Companies, a large, diversified agribusiness operation headquartered in Amarillo, Texas. He began his operation in Hereford, Texas in 1980 before expanding across Texas and New Mexico, before expanding to Nebraska in 1998 with a location in Lincoln County. Within the last decade, Oppliger Companies continued expansion across the state, including Atkinson Farms in Atkinson, O'Neill Ranch in O'Neill and Cottonwood Feeders in Stuart.