Four distinguished industry leaders were inducted into the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame at 10 a.m., Sept. 24, at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena.
The ceremony featured the unveiling of the honorees’ portraits, which will hang in the arena gallery alongside those of 55 other prominent industry leaders who have been recognized for their contributions to the Virginia livestock industry.
“The Livestock Hall of Fame allows Virginia’s beef, sheep, dairy, pork, and horse industries to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the commonwealth’s livestock industry,” said Ike Eller, a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension animal scientist who chairs the hall of fame committee.
This year’s inductees are:
- Dwight E. Houff, of Mount Sidney, Virginia, a 1961 Virginia Tech alumnus, who excelled as a breeder of Angus, Hereford, and Gelbvieh cattle and served in many leadership and service roles in Virginia’s beef industry. He was recognized as Virginia Cattleman of the Year in 1993 and was named Virginia Seedstock Producer in 2002. His leadership in church, business, and community affairs is equally noteworthy.
- Robert W. Manly, of Waverly, Virginia, who orchestrated the development of the vertically integrated pork strategy in the state. It was his vision that led to the development of swine production operations, feed milling operations, and the successful expansion of packing operations in Smithfield, Virginia. The employees, local businesses, farmers, and the communities in which Smithfield Foods operate in Virginia and elsewhere are grateful for his contributions to the pork industry.
- Richard G. Saacke, of Blacksburg, Virginia, a Virginia Tech professor emeritus of dairy science, was an enthusiastic contributor to the Virginia, national, and international livestock communities through his research, graduate and undergraduate teaching, and extension efforts. He served as a professor of reproductive physiology during his 44-year professional career, with 36 of those years at Virginia Tech. He continues to provide guidance to students and the livestock industry.
- Max James Tappero (1929-2003,) of Lynchburg, Virginia, influenced Virginia’s horse industry as a horseman and an ambassador who established and enhanced the horse as a major contributor to Virginia agriculture. He galvanized the commonwealth’s horse industry by bringing stakeholders together to ensure a solid foundation for the equine industry. In 2014 he was inducted into the Virginia Horse Show Association Hall of Fame.
Established in 2009, the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame bestows honor and recognition on outstanding Virginians who have made significant contributions to the state’s livestock industry and its people. The Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, Virginia Pork Council, Virginia Sheep Producers Association, Virginia State Dairymen’s Association, and the Virginia Horse Council have the opportunity to nominate living or deceased individuals to the Virginia Livestock Hall of Fame.