National Pork Board Honors Al Christian

April 4th, 2003

AMES, Iowa — Al Christian, manager of the Swine Teaching Farm, received the 2003 Distinguished Service Award March 8 from the National Pork Board at its National Pork Industry Forum in Dallas. The annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry.

Tom Floy, a 1982 Iowa State animal science graduate and a National Pork Board member, said Christian is a legend in the pork industry and at Iowa State.

"To many students, Al has been much more than a teacher — he has been a friend they could go to for advice and counsel, even after graduation," Floy said.

Floy is a pork producer near Thornton. He has watched Christian patiently give students pointers on showmanship and judging.

"He taught his students how to raise hogs, but perhaps even more important, he taught them about life - always emphasizing the vital role hog farming and agriculture play in the social fabric of rural America," Floy said.

Ernie Barnes, assistant vice president of the National Pork Board, said Christian has had a positive influence on a number of young people who later became leaders in the pork industry.

"Each year someone is selected based on their service to the pork industry throughout their lifetime and in many cases they are recognized for their unpaid services," Barnes said.

Christian began working at the Swine Teaching Farm as a herdsman in 1959. Since that time hundreds of students have graduated under his guidance. He said the purpose of the farm is to provide animals for teaching uses within the animal science curriculum. The farm also provides animals for educational events for producer groups, 4-H, FFA and extension.

Contacts: 

Al Christian, Animal Science, (515) 292-3117
Barbara McManus, Ag Communications Service, (515) 294-0707