A group of Virginia’s livestock associations inducted seven Hokies into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame at the Virginia State Fair in Doswell, Va., on Oct. 1.

“The Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame allows Virginia’s beef, dairy, sheep, and pork industries to recognize those who have made outstanding contribution’s to the commonwealth’s livestock industry,” said Ike Eller, a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension animal scientist who chairs the hall of fame committee. “Our first group of honorees includes both contemporary leaders in industry and academia and early pioneers who made Virginia’s livestock industry what it is today.”

The 2010 inductees who graduated from or worked at Virginia Tech were

  • George A. Allen Jr. of Blacksburg, Va., 1947 Virginia Tech graduate and former sheep specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension;
  • Richard S. Ellis IV (1932-1995) of Buckingham, Va., 1953 Virginia Tech graduate;
  • William M. Etgen (1929-1992) of Blacksburg, Va., former professor of dairy science at Virginia Tech;
  • Ritchie Allen Jordan of Suffolk, Va., 1949 Virginia Tech graduate;
  • George Washington Litton (1910-1989) of Blacksburg, Va., former Extension agent, Extension specialist, professor of animal science, and head of the Department of Animal Science at Virginia Tech;
  • Roy Allen Meek (1927-1992) of Draper, Va., 1952 Virginia Tech graduate; and
  • James R. Nichols of Blacksburg, Va., former head of the Department of Dairy Science and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

The other inductees were Morris F. Fannon (1923-2010) of Pennington Gap, Va.; Charles C. Funkhouser (1902-1967) of White Post, Va.; Nelson S. Gardner (1930-2007) of Bridgewater, Va.; John D. Hardesty of Berryville, Va.; E. William “Bill” Hess (1924-1994) of Barboursville, Va.; James M. Hoge (1915-2005) of Burkes Garden, Va.; Ronald A. Hope (1915-1991) of Leesburg, Va.; Samuel F. McClure (1909-1972) of Spottswood, Va.; W. Hugh Ownby (1912-2003) of Richmond, Va.; W. Alexander Stuart Jr. (1923-2008) of Rosedale, Va.; and Frank S. Walker Sr. (1883-1971) of Orange, Va.

More than a third of the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame award winners have a connection to Virginia Tech. Allen earned his bachelor’s degree at the university in 1947 and served as an Extension sheep specialist from 1952 to 1981. Etgen was a faculty member in the Department of Dairy Science and coached Virginia Tech’s dairy cattle judging teams through several national championship wins. Litton’s numerous titles at Virginia Tech included county Extension agent, state Extension specialist, professor of animal science, and head of the Department of Animal Science. Nichols was head of the Department of Dairy Science and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Ellis, Jordan, and Meek also graduated from the university.

Established in 2009, the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame bestows honor and recognition upon outstanding Virginians who have made significant contributions to the state’s livestock industry and its people. The Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, Virginia Pork Industry Association, Virginia Sheep Producers Association, and Virginia State Dairymen’s Association each had an opportunity to nominate as many as five deceased and one living individual into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame.

The Meadow Pavilion at the State Fair of Virginia in Doswell, Va., displays a portrait of each of the first group of honorees.

For more information, contact Ike Eller at (540) 951-2109.