Egg Industry Center

Xin Recognized with LeggACY Maker Award

October 20, 2023

Outdoor photo of Dr. Hongwei XinThe Egg Industry Center will recognize Dr. Hongwei Xin with the 2023 LeggACY Maker Award for his commitment and achievements in advancing the egg industry and the mission of the Egg Industry Center (EIC).

The recognition will take place at an awards ceremony and reception held at the 2023 Egg Industry issues Forum on October 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana. “Hongwei did an extraordinary job of taking what was a totally new concept for a partnership between Iowa State University and an entire industry and turning that into the information and research entity known today as the Egg Industry Center,” said Dr. Richard Gates, EIC Director. “His expertise and professional, compassionate leadership style was critical as he successfully served EIC for 10 years as the Center’s founding director.”  

During his time at the Center, Xin helped establish communications channels with egg farmers, their associations, donors, board members, and many other center stakeholders. His research, and the research funds awarded from the Egg Industry Center’s grant program, focused on practical and timely solutions to issues that greatly impacted the entire U.S. egg industry.

During his research career, Xin was a principal investigator (PI) or Co-PI of $74M in competitive grants and contracts for research, extension, and education projects. He added to the egg industry’s scientific body of knowledge in many areas including:

  • shipping methods to preserve day old chick health
  • evaluation of drinking water temperature on laying hen performance
  • laying hen air quality monitoring for various housing systems (high-rise, cage manure-belt, and floor aviary housing)
  • ammonia emission quantification and mitigation strategies for pullet and layer housing and manure storage areas
  • feeding of DDGS and other altered diets to laying hens
  • management strategies for cage-free layer facilities
  • behavioral responses of hens to ultraviolet light
  • evaluation of programmable LED lights vs. traditional CFL lights
  • the first environmental footprint of U.S. egg industry
  • airborne transmission of HPAI
  • electrostatic precipitation air cleaning for particulate matter

While achieving many academic awards for his research and extension work, the industry has recognized Xin’s efforts with the following awards: Iowa Poultry Association’s Industry Person of the Year Award in 2007; Midwest Poultry Consortium’s Outstanding Service Award in 2011; USPOULTRY Workhorse of the Year Award in 2014; and the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Citation in 2016 for Extraordinary Contributions for timely responses to the 2015 high pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks.

In 2019, Xin became the dean of University of Tennessee Ag Research, and director of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Tennessee Institution of Agriculture (UTIA). A hallmark accomplishment since joining UTIA is his persistent work with Institute/University upper administration and key stakeholders in successfully securing $50M in funding to modernize UT AgResearch infrastructure and equipment at the ten AgResearch and Education Centers across the state. He has also helped develop and implement the UT AgResearch Strategic Action Plan whose research expenditure funding has increased more than 40% in the past four years.

While on his new path at UTIA, Xin remained close to the egg industry as an active member of the Egg Industry Center Advisory Board and continuing other leadership positions he held within in the industry.

Xin is a well-deserving receipt of EIC’s 2023 LeggACY Award and we ask you to help us congratulate him by joining us for the Egg Forum Eggstravaganza, or by reaching out to him personally. Egg Forum recognition details can be found at

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