Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
In front, Dale Evans, owner of Evans Feed, works with his son, Roger and granddaughter, Amy.
Dale Evans, owner of Evan’s Feed and Livestock Supply, Inc., said he tries to call all of his customers by their names.
“It’s just more polite. I think it’s important to them, too,” he said.
Evans, along with Dr. Mohammad Ashraf, Steve Copland of Seabury, Copland and Anderson, Kay Rhoads of Peck Printery and memorial recipient Sal Perlongo of Perlongo’s Bakery, will be honored Thursday at the Madera District Fairgrounds during the Lifetime Achievement Awards and Installation dinner. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are $50 per person. For reservations, contact the Madera Chamber of Commerce at 673-3563.
“I thought I was going to cry,” Dale Evans said, on finding out he had received the award. “Growing up, we were really poor. We took pride in what we did.”
Evans Feed and Livestock Supply Inc. offers a multitude of products related to livestock and small animals, from hay to medicines.
“We offer anything pertaining to livestock and small animals,” Evans said. “Horses or cattle, chickens, fish, birds and so forth. Pretty much what the title says.”
The store also has locations in Porterville and Chowchilla.
Evans, 87, moved from Oklahoma to Madera when he was 6 and has resided in the city ever since. When he was 14, he began working at a dairy.
“On my days off, I’d milk cows morning and night,” Evans said. “My folks were really hard workers. They taught all of us kids to be hard workers.”
As a junior in high school, Evans was an alternate member for the Madera High School Future Farmers of America team. The year he went, the team won the national championship. Nowadays, Evans still has an involvement in FFA.
Amy Evans, assistant manager of Evans Feed and Livestock Supply Inc. and Dale Evans’ granddaughter, said her grandfather supports the individuals in FFA as well as 4-H.
“He has always been there for the community and for anyone who comes to him,” she said.
Before he was a store owner, Dale Evans worked for TECO, a feed store in Madera. During his time at the company, he worked as a shipping clerk, a clerk, a sales representative and a sales manager.
“I liked all of those jobs and they were tremendous people,” Evans said.
Evans said changes were being made within the company and he was offered other positions.
“I had a bunch of other offers and I was going to take one of them, but they wanted me to move to their headquarters,” he said.
However, he didn’t want to leave his hometown. Evans said he appreciates Madera because it is a small town filled with kind people.
“A lot of other cities aren’t anywhere as near as nice as Madera,” Dale Evans said. “I didn’t want to leave Madera and all the fine people.”
Evans said that although the positions he was offered would have allowed him to earn more money, he still considered staying in Madera a priority.
“Money’s important. You can’t do without it. But it’s not going to control me,” he said.
Evans tried to purchase TECO, but did not have enough money to do so. So, he and his late wife decided to open their own store. This allowed him to continue living in Madera. Evans Feed and Livestock Supply Inc. opened in 1978.
“It’s just grown ever since,” Evans said. “I feel great about it.”
Along with Amy Evans, Dale Evans’ son, Roger Evans, works in the store.
“I appreciate how hard my father worked when I was growing up,” Roger Evans said. “He taught me a real strong work ethic.”
Roger Evans also said his father taught him to care for the local community.
“You grow up in a small town like this,” Roger Evans said, “you have a loyalty to the agriculture and the people who came before you.”
This principle is also applicable to the store.
“We have a lot of older customers,” Roger Evans said. “You’re loyal to them, too. They’re almost like an extended family.”
In addition, Roger Evans believes it is crucial to treat others well.
“That’s something my parents taught me — to always take care of people,” he said. “If certain people hadn’t been helpful to your parents, you wouldn’t be where you are.”
Evans said he strives to keep the prices of products in his store low.
“We hold our pricing as low as we can,” he said. “We’ve got to make a living, but all our customers have to make a living.”
Evans said he likes being a store owner because it allows him to guide others.
“I want to help people do better — help them with any problems they have pertaining to livestock all the way down to birds or kittens,” Evans said.
Evans was married to wife Melba until her passing in 1990. They had three children — son Roger, daughter Carolyn Alberta, who lives near Sonora, and son Michael, who leaves near Redding.