It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Dr. Wesley Ewing on 7th April 2020, at the young age of 53. Wes was a great character and well known within animal science circles, latterly as a publisher with his own business Context Products Ltd, based near Nottingham in the UK, since 2000. Wes hailed from Northern Ireland, where he attended the Royal School at Dungannon. He then went on to Nottingham University, obtaining a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriscience, Marketing and Management. He then went on to obtain a PhD in Animal Nutrition at Nottingham in 1991, under the supervision of Prof. Des Cole.
Whereas, for most scientists, obtaining a PhD would be enough achievement for one lifetime, this was not the case with Wes! On the back of his pioneering PhD work, he published a book based on his thesis entitled ‘The Living Gut’, which has since entered its second edition in 2008, and I was honoured to assist in updating this manuscript with Wes. After University, Wes worked commercially for 2 years with Animax, an animal health company, and then with Cargill from 1989 in his capacity as an animal nutritionist. He held positions in marketing and sales, rising to the post of National Feeds Manager with Cargill in 1996. He then moved to NuTec UK (part of Provimi Group) as General manager, until the end of 2000, when he founded Context. However, during working in these important roles, he went on to gain a further diploma and MSc in Marketing at Nottingham University Business School. His continued drive for adding to his knowledge and scientific contribution was demonstrated when he won and completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2004. I’m not sure where he found the energy for all of this.
In August 2006 Prof Des Cole sadly died, and Wes took on the animal science books that Des looked after in his role running Nottingham University Press. He was very active in promoting and publishing practical science, and was always present with his variety of books at major conferences.
Even though Wes was a very driven scientist, he was equally active in his private life. As a young man he was a prize-winning marksman in his school shooting team. As a student he is remembered for his love of rugby as well as it’s associated social events. He was an energetic member of his local community in the small village of Packington where he lived with his family, and where he had his office at the back of his lovely cottage. His love of food and his adopted region of Central England saw his creation of Food Gusto and its regional food and drink events, held in many locations - which he was so passionate about promoting. A mutual friend remarked that ‘the place will not be the same without Wes’s energy in organising things and his joy in being involved in local issues’.
On a personal note, I worked with Wes on and off over many years. He was a precise and thorough person professionally, and a driving force in producing high quality, relevant books for animal scientists. He was a lot of fun to be around, and many will remember him for his good humour, approachability and general happiness. The shock of his early passing is deeply felt by those that know him. I’m sure everyone joins me in passing on our sincere condolences to his wife, family and colleagues. He was a remarkable man.
Dr Lucy Waldron