JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh

It wasn’t on the program, but on Monday morning during a general session of the 2014 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference, Guy Leman gave an interesting, entertaining, inspirational talk to attendees. The meeting is held annually in St. Paul, Minn., and is named in honor of Guy’s father, Allen D. Leman. Guy was jogging with his dad in Europe when Al suddenly collapsed. He was only 48 years old when he passed away in 1992; Guy was just 15.

Guy shared some humorous recollections of life with his dad, explaining that Al could fall asleep almost anywhere. He’d be “watching” his beloved Chicago Cubs on television, seemingly asleep. However if someone tried to change the channel, he’d open his eyes and say, “Turn it back – I was watching that!”

Guy talked about Al’s dedication to the industry and his constant quest for knowledge; about how he pushed others to be life-long learners, never settling for the status quo.

Maybe Al somehow sensed his own mortality, because he had worked with a financial planner to make sure his family would be fiscally secure if something were to happen to him. That level of forethought and emphasis on preparing for the unknown influenced Guy to become a financial planner.

I worked with Al when I was with the purebred associations many years ago, and again when I worked on a newsletter for Swine Graphics, in which he was involved. He demanded your (and everyone’s) best effort. Al Leman served as a beacon for the pork industry. He would be proud to know how his legacy is being continued by others, particularly by his son, Guy.

The 2014 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference is a “must attend” for swine veterinarians and pork industry leaders. Dr. Robert Morrison, along with the staff and students in the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, do an excellent job of putting together a program that emphasizes current and emerging swine health issues in the United States as well as beyond U.S. borders.

Look for many articles on the presentations and discussions at this year’s conference in the coming weeks on, and in upcoming PorkNetwork magazines.