The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTAI) has named Hongwei Xin UTIA’s new dean for AgResearch. Previously Xin was the assistant dean for research in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Xin began his new role April 1, 2019. 

In addition to serving as assistant dean at Iowa State, Xin is the director of the Egg Industry Center (EIC), interim director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) and Animal Science.

At the conclusion of the Egg Industry Center Issues Forum in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 17, Xin was recognized for his years of expertise provided to EIC, Iowa State and the egg industry with a standing ovation and an award from the EIC.

“This change of position was not an easy decision, and a big part of that was the wonderful people in this industry,” Xin said in an interview after the forum. “However, I am confident that the center and the industry will continue to move forward in this beautiful partnership that has developed.”

Xin accredited the success of EIC to his associates, “I have been blessed to work with a truly visionary and dedicated group of individuals on the EIC advisory board, and a wonderful slate of staff.”

He noted that he is looking forward to continuing to help the egg industry with research information while also broadening the scope of his knowledge in the various fields of ag research.

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Praise from those associated with Xin

Xin's colleagues spoke highly of what they feel he brings to the table.

“Hongwei’s great reputation is the result of his commitment to find research based answers to the many questions and concerns related to egg production, and doing it in a timely and professional manner,” said Maro Ibarburu, EIC associate scientist - business analyst. “Thanks to his practical understanding of the industry, he was able to deliver many solutions and answers the egg industry really needed to advance during challenging times.”

Lesa Vold, EIC communications specialist, said, “The thing that makes Hongwei unique is not only his scientific mind, but his heart for helping people, Hongwei truly cares about everyone he meets, and he can connect with a consumer, an undergraduate student, a distinguished colleague, a worker at the farm where research is occurring, or a company president and leave each of them knowing that he truly does understand the challenges they face and that he wants to try and help.”

In addition to the great deal of respect Xin has established with his colleagues. He has also generated a presented reputation with others in the egg industry.

“The entire industry recognized many years ago Hongwei’s ability to use scientific knowledge to solve real production challenges, and I think I speak for everyone in saying that we are ever so grateful that he chose to focus 25 years of his career solving issues for this industry,” said Pete Block, presdient of Hy-Line North America. “Hongwei definitely left a legacy here.”

Xin added that in regards to his relationship with the EIC that, “This is not goodbye; I will still be involved to the extent that I can be.”