John B. Swisher Annual Leadership Award (by United Animal Health, Inc) is an honor presented to an individual who exemplifies extraordinary leadership qualities and who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the swine industry.

Each year, United Animal Health presents an award to an individual who exemplifies and demonstrates excellence in leadership within the swine industry. The award recognizes the outstanding leadership of individuals in all swine related fields.

This award is presented annually at the World Pork Expo. Previous nominees may be re-nominated, with updated nominations.

Criteria and Evaluation

The United Animal Health Awards Committee will use the following criteria to evaluate nominees.

  • Significant contribution to swine industry
  • Individual’s demonstration of leadership
  • Obstacles or real-life examples of leadership in action
  • Results

Submit a Nomination


Meet Our Past Recipients

2024 Award Winner: Dr. Gary L. Allee

Dr. Gary L. Allee has truly demonstrated what it is like to be a leader in the swine industry throughout his lifetime. Allee, a world-renowned swine nutritionist, spent over 25 years at the University of Missouri as an undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, and department head. He built a career at Kansas State University and went home to Missouri to lead the Animal Sciences Department at the University of Missouri. Eventually, he returned to his true calling of collaborative research, forming partnerships that positively impacted his career. Throughout his teaching career, Allee was most proud of his graduate students in the swine industry, as he mentored 27 doctorate and 28 master’s students. Allee dedicated his life to his career, students, and family, and his legacy will continue.

Learn More About Dr. Gary L. Allee >

2023 Award Winner: Dr. Mike Ellis

Dr. Mike Ellis exemplifies what it means to be a leader in this industry. Not only has he made an impact on the industry from an academic perspective, but he’s also made tremendous impact on the people within our industry and future generations of animal agriculture leaders. In 1992, he joined the University of Illinois as a Professor of Swine Production Management. While at the University of Illinois, Ellis’ research focus was on managing growth in wean-to-finish facilities, animal handling, pre-weaning mortality, and pork quality. Ellis has advised over 60 students for MS and / or Ph.D. degrees and has published over 180 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, 300 abstracts, and more than 300 occasional publications and reports.

Learn More About Dr. Mike Ellis >

2022 Award Winner: Wayne Cast

Wayne Cast is an industry icon and a well-respected leader in the swine industry. Cast received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska with a focus on swine nutrition. He currently works at PIC as a nutritionist. Cast continues to be a significant influence in the industry after more than 40 years of working in the field of swine nutrition. His knowledge, experience and ability to provide insights and actionable change is unmatched.

Learn More About Wayne Cast >

2021 Award Winner: Dr. Tim Loula

Dr. Tim Loula is a highly regarded veterinarian in the swine industry, recognized for his efforts to improve production and herd health status while maintaining profitability for clients of the Swine Vet Center. He has shared his extensive knowledge through presentations at producer meetings and veterinary conferences as well as through published articles spanning many years.

Learn More About Dr. Tim Loula >

2018 Award Winner: Dr. Robert Easter

Dr. Easter, President Emeritus of University of Illinois, is recognized worldwide for his leadership in animal agriculture. During Dr. Easter’s 40+ year career at University of Illinois he served as a faculty member, department head, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), interim Chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus for two years and for the final three years as President of the University of Illinois system.

Learn More About Dr. Robert Easter >

2017 Award Winner: Dr. John Patience

Dr. Patience, Professor at Iowa State University, is recognized nationally for his leadership in animal agriculture. For the past 9 years, Dr. Patience has worked in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State.  Prior to that, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of both PSC Elstow Research Farm, Inc and of Prairie Swine Centre, Inc.

Learn More About Dr. John Patience >

2016 Award Winner: Dr. Maynard Hogberg

Dr. Maynard Hogberg, Professor Emeritus of Animal Science and former Animal Science Department Chair at Iowa State University, is a national leader in animal agriculture. As a professor at Iowa State, he has mentored countless students, faculty and colleagues. He served as a leader to multiple organizations including president of the American Society of Animal Science and of the Federation of Animal Science Societies.

Learn More About Dr. Maynard Hogberg >


2015 Award Winner: Dale Miller

Dale Miller is an animal science graduate of the University of Minnesota, and he joined the National Hog Farmer editorial staff in 1973. Throughout his career, he has traveled to most states and many foreign countries to study and report on pork production practices. Miller’s writing and photography have won numerous awards, including the American Association of Agricultural Editors’ Master Writer award in 2006.

Learn More About Dale Miller >

2013 Award Winners: Dr. Billy Day and Dr. Philip Dziuk

Dr. Billy Day
Dr. Billy Day has had a remarkable career. He has established himself both nationally and internationally as a top research scientist in reproductive physiology of swine.

Dr. Philip Dziuk
Dr. Philip Dziuk is an internationally renowned reproductive physiologist and his distinguished career can be seen through his pioneering research that formed the basis for much of modern swine reproductive management.

Learn More About Dr. Billy Day & Dr. Philip Dziuk >

2012 Award Winner: Dr. David H. Baker

Dr. David Baker made indispensable contributions to the fields of animal and human nutrition over the course of his 40-year research career and wrote the book on the dietary requirements of many essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in animals. His discoveries are largely responsible for the development of the chemically defined diets and livestock feeds that have become the gold standard for the swine industry today.

Learn More About Dr. David Baker >

2011 Award Winner: Dr. Allen Leman

In 1974 Dr. Leman, a new University of Minnesota Extension Veterinarian and Dr. Jim Hanson, Director of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s continuing education program initiated a conference to present new information and discuss issues important to the swine industry.

Throughout his career, Dr. Leman worked to define the link between swine disease and swine production. His unwavering dedication to the education of practicing veterinarians was manifested, at least in part, through his leadership of this conference.

Learn More About Dr. Allen Leman >

2010 Award Winner: Glen Grimes

Glen Grimes, a strong family man has been married for more than 62 years and is a proud father of two. If you know Glen you are aware of his key nobility to retain information from names and memories to specific details and outcomes of his career experiences, he has always been very successful by drawing on this knowledge to predict future outcomes. After over 50 years of industry leadership, Mr. Grimes has become an icon for what it means to be reputable and effective in market analyst.

Learn More About Glen Grimes >

2009 Award Winner: John B. Swisher

Few people have had as significant an impact on Indiana agriculture as John B. Swisher. After 60 years of industry leadership, Mr. Swisher has become an icon for what it means to be reputable and effective in agribusiness. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Indiana Pork Producers Association and the 4H Foundation. Mr. Swisher is one of only four recipients of the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a member of the Indiana Business Hall of Fame.

Learn More About John B. Swisher >