Dr. Steve Hitchner, a distinguished poultry production and disease specialist, died on January 1, 2011 at his home in Salisbury, Mont., at the age of 94.

In his long and productive career, Dr. Hitchner served in the U.S Army during WWII followed by a research and teaching positions at Virginia Polytechnic University and the University of Massachusetts. He was a pioneer of the poultry biologics industry developing vaccines and was a founder member of American Scientific Laboratories in Madison, Wisconsin and subsequently L & M Laboratories on the Eastern Shore. He served as the Chairman of the Department of Avian Diseases at Cornell University, from 1966 through 1981.

Dr. Hitchner obtained a Baccalaureate degree from Rutgers University and his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania. He was an Honorary Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. His many achievements included the isolation, propagation and commercialization of a mild Newcastle disease strain which bears his name and which formed of ND prevention programs worldwide.


He will be remembered for his modesty, willingness to help producers and students and for his contributions to his community and church. He is survived by Marina, his wife of 67 years, and four children.

Steve will be sorely missed by his colleagues in the veterinary profession and by the poultry industry.