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Swine industry loses pioneer in modern pork production

Hollier, who was with PIC for many years and helped start the PIC farm in Spring Green, Wis., was known for his boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm.

One of the founding members of the Pig Improvment Company and a long-time adviser to pork operations throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia passed away over the weekend. David Arthur Hollier died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday, March 16.

Hollier, who was with PIC for many years and helped start the PIC farm in Spring Green, Wis. (now The Hanor Company), was known for his boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm. He had an outstanding talent for attracting and teaching people on many levels, from raw recruits to seasoned investors. 

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Alwyn Woolley, one of the founders of PIC, wrote the following tribute about Hollier:

David was a well-known figure in the pig industry worldwide.

He originally came to Pig Improvement Company at Fyfield Wick in what was then Berkshire in the very early days to help with the straw harvest. However, the idea of going back to Reading to do his Masters was nowhere so exciting as tackling the challenges and opportunities facing this fledgling company and he quickly reappeared to stay, working for the company for many years in England and the United States.

David lived with the Woolley family in the farmhouse at Fyfield Wick for frequent periods and it was not uncommon to come down at 6.30 in the morning to find him sitting at the kitchen table, scribbling awkwardly away left handed at one of his instruction manuals on the finer points of modern pig production, entertaining illustrated books which conveyed detailed practical information.

His boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm made him successful in setting up new pig farms and units. He had an outstanding talent for attracting, teaching and entertaining people on many levels, from raw young recruits to seasoned investors.

His legacy is a network of pig producers from Europe to Australia, China to South America.

Outside of work he was a complete maverick; his lifestyle and ability to surprise and entertain are legendary, from travelling the world with his belongings in a paper carrier bag to sitting up virtually all night playing scrabble. He was renowned for his ability to sleep anywhere such as on an office floor with his head under the air conditioner. Evenings in his company at the pub were lengthy and hugely entertaining.

David’s book, “Aspect of Swine Ecology” has been translated into many languages and for many years has been the standard tool for training in farms.

David will be remembered with gratitude and great affection by people worldwide.

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