Dr. Harold Henry Hodson Jr., age 79, of Ankeny, IA died peacefully in the company of his family at the
Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, IA on September 23, 2018.
Harold was born on March 20, 1939 in Grand Forks, ND, son of Harold Henry Hodson Sr. and Elizabeth
(Wester) Hodson. He grew up on family farms there and in Adel and Waukee, IA, where he graduated
from high school. On December 26, 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, Dixie LaVonne Bonker.
After completing his BS in Animal Science and PhD in Animal Nutrition at Iowa State University in 1965,
he served in the U.S Air Force as Captain and head nutritionist for the space program's chimpanzee
colony. Harold returned to Iowa State in 1968 as a Swine Extension Specialist, and in 1971 moved to
Southern Illinois University to join the Animal Science faculty. His work there included pioneering
research in reproductive physiology and artificial insemination in swine. He was department chair from
1976 until 1981 and developed an international reputation consulting for the American Soybean
Association, US Feed Grain Council, and other organizations. Throughout his academic career, Harold
was a frequent judge at national, state, and local swine shows, and an advisor to agricultural
organizations such as Block and Bridle, Future Farmers of America, and 4H.
In 1981, Harold left academia to found Swine Genetics International (SGI) in Cambridge, IA, which he led
until his "semi-retirement." He remained active at SGI continuing to work with his many local, U.S., and
international partners--including the "Hodson Family", a consortium of swine producers in Japan.
Through his lifelong commitment to agricultural education and advancement, Harold was often
recognized for his service. He was awarded the 2015 Floyd Andre Award honoring Iowa State alumni
who have made significant contributions to agriculture. He was recognized by the Iowa Foundation for
Agricultural Advancement (IFAA) for being a dedicated board member and director of scholarships since
1990. He will be missed around the Iowa State Fair Swine Barn, and in the ring at the IFAA Sale of
Harold cheered loudly for his beloved Iowa State Cyclones. He was a baseball fan, from coaching Little
League, to rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was also an avid golfer and enjoyed traveling.
Harold was most devoted to his family. He is survived by wife, Dixie; son, Mark (Elisabeth) Hodson;
daughter Robin (Mark) Hingtgen; daughter Michelle (Brian) Buhr; grandchildren Laurel and Tyler Buhr,
Megan and Zachary Hingtgen, and Maria and Sophia Hodson; and siblings LaVerne Jones, Carole
Barlean, Gale (Jeanne) Hodson, and Dean Hodson. He was preceded in death by his parents and
siblings Vernon Hodson, Viola Brown, Colleen Soper, and Francis Hodson.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30am on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at St. Cecilia Catholic
Church, 2900 Hoover Ave., Ames, Iowa. A luncheon and celebration of life will follow in the church social
Online condolences may be directed to: www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial contributions to: Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement; Scholarship Awards, 3116 Evergreen Rd, Ames IA 50014
ISU Foundation; College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Livestock Judging Team, P.O. Box 2230,
Ames, IA 50010