Dr. Louis Andre Swiger, Dean Emeritus of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and former head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, was recently inducted into the CALS Hall of Fame.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame recognizes the college’s alumni and friends who have distinguished themselves professionally in their careers and who have given exemplary service to the college, the university or the agricultural and life sciences industries.
Dr. Swiger retired from Virginia Tech in 2002. “This was a wonderful honor,” he said about the induction. “When you’ve been retired 18 years, you think everyone has forgotten about you. So this was especially nice.”
At his retirement, many of his colleagues and friends endowed a land grant cash award in his name. The award is presented annually to a faculty member whose creative accomplishments help fulfill the land grant mission of addressing state and national needs through teaching, research and extension.
“Dr. Swiger has had an enormous impact on our college and his legacy runs deep,” said Alan Grant, Dean of the Virginia Tech CALS. “It is no coincidence that one of the highest awards presented by the college—the Andy Swiger Land Grant Award—is named for him. In addition to being a great leader who set a visionary course for our college, Dr. Swiger’s generosity and kindness are an inspiration.”
Previously, Dr. Swiger was inducted into the Ohio State University Saddle and Sirloin Club Hall of Fame, the Virginia Tech Block and Bridle Club Hall of Fame and the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame. In 1985, he won the American Society of Animal Science Award for research in his field.
Dr. Swiger grew up in Waverly, Ohio, on a purebred Hereford cattle operation. He was the high school co-valedictorian with Mary Belle Kinney, who became his wife. Swiger received his Bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. After a time in the Marine Corps, he completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in animal breeding and genetics.at Iowa State University.
Dr. Swiger is known for his efforts to further animal agriculture and the agricultural industry. His programs in research, teaching and extension were directed toward the application of genetic principles to the improvement of livestock for economic traits such as growth, leanness, feed efficiency, meat quality and reproduction.
Dr. Swiger has impacted the breeding practices of industry seedstock enterprises, especially performance testing of beef cattle and swine. He is also a strong supporter of the land grant system, and as an administrator he promoted a balance of basic discovery and applied research to advance the agricultural industry.
For the last four years, Dr. Swiger has been a resident of Warm Hearth Village in Blacksburg.