Dennis W. Harms, Hendersonville, Tenn., founder of Premium Standard Farms, died unexpectedly last week while on a business trip. He was 56. Mr Harms had a diverse career in the pork industry. It included positions at Cargill feed division and Central Soya before he founded Premium Standard Farms. The business grew to be the US' second largest pork producer. Harms became instrumental in the US pork industry's vertical integration movement.

He left PSF in 1998 when it was purchased by Continental Grain Company and joined Pig Improvement Company as North America president. In 2007 he formed Spectrum Agribusiness, a food and agriculture consulting practice.

Harms was born in Stanford, Ill. He grew up on a family farm raising cattle and hogs. He is survived by his parents, his wife Kathi, a daughter and a son.