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Dr. Tom Zeigler Named Poultry Science Distinguished Alumnus

Posted: April 26, 2015

Will be Honored by Penn State's Department of Animal Science on May 1 for his innovation and leadership in the industry.

When he graduated with a degree in poultry husbandry from Penn State, Tom Zeigler, Ph.D., probably did not envision becoming the leader of a company that is now in its third generation.  Zeigler Bros., Inc. has grown from a water powered feed mill purchased by Zeigler's father and uncle nearly 80 years ago to a business with 62 fulltime and 11 part time employees, making more than 300 kinds of animal feeds and marketing to 50 countries worldwide.

For his innovation and leadership, Dr. Zeigler is being honored by Penn State's Department of Animal Science with its 2015 Poultry Science Distinguished Alumnus award on May 1 at University Park Campus. He will be recognized with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. at 324 ASI and will also be honored at the Poultry Science Club's annual Spring Awards Banquet that evening.

Dr. Terry Etherton, head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "Tom's innovative research, entrepreneurship and willingness to explore expanding markets have put him in the forefront of this competitive animal feeds industry. His many contributions to the industry are exemplary, and Zeigler Bros. has set an exceptionally high standard. We are delighted to be recognizing Tom's commitment to excellence and continuing service to the industry."

Zeigler said, "To say that I was more than surprised when I received Dr. Etherton's call would be a real understatement. Not only is this a much appreciated honor, but it also provides me with the opportunity to acknowledge the truly great education which I received as a Penn Stater."

Since 2010 Zeigler has served as Senior Technical Advisor, after leading the company as Chairman of the Board from 2008-2010, and as President and CEO from 1967-2008.   

Zeigler Bros. Inc., (ZBI) is headquartered in Gardners, Adams County, and sons Timothy (Vice President of Sales and Marketing) and Matthew (Vice President of Operations, Process Engineer) have undertaken leadership roles, continuing Zeigler's dominant place in the industry. Both Tim and Matt are Penn State graduates. The corporation specializes in manufacturing specialty feeds for special animals and is internationally recognized as a producer and distributor of aquaculture feeds, feeds for biomedical research and various pet and zoo animals.

Zeigler received his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University with an Animal Nutrition major, and Biochemistry and Veterinary Pathology minors; his M.S. degree is from Cornell University with an Animal Nutrition major and Biochemistry minor.

Zeigler is a member of Alpha Zeta, agriculture honorary fraternity; Alphi Phi Omega, national service fraternity; Coaly Society, honorary leadership society; and Sigma XI, scientific honorary fraternity. He has provided leadership in many industry organizations, including the American Feed Industry Association, Global Aquaculture Alliance, Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center, PA Fish Farmers Association, US Aquaculture Association, US Aquaculture Suppliers Association, Penn Ag Industries Association, US Trout Farmers Association and World Aquaculture Association.

With a strong commitment to his community, he helped found the Upper Adams Chapter of the US Jaycees and served as its charter president. 

Zeigler has been recognized for his outstanding contributions including:

* 2007 - Distinguished Service Award, Penn Ag Industries Association

* 2012 - Special Recognition Award - For the Commitment and Dedication of 50 years of Continuous Service Contributing to the Development of Aquaculture and Education Worldwide. - Association Nacional de Acuicultores de Honduras

* 2013 - Central Penn Business Journal, Business of the Year

* 2013 and 2002 - Pa Governor's Export Award

* 2013 - President "E" Award of Excellence in Export, US Department of Commerce

* 2013 - National Small Business Exporter of the Year

* 2013 - Mid-Atlantic Small Business Exporter of the Year

* 2013 -  Eastern PA Small Business Exporter of the Year

He has published over 18 scientific publications, and has made over 40 presentations across the country and around the world. He has served on several international trade missions and has traveled to 28 countries focusing on the aquaculture industry technology.  His strong leadership in research and development resulted in introducing many "firsts" in aquatic feeds and moved that industry forward significantly.

He and his wife Freda, have four sons and reside in Aspers.