Dr. Frank Siccardi (1935-2010)

There is a unique combination of factors, qualification, exposure, and events that come together for the ability, patience, and motivation to be committed to 35 years of effort, persistence, and truly original innovation.

Dr. Frank Siccardi

Heritage - Italian and German, second generation in US

Born in New York City and lived in New Jersey until age thirteen.

Raised in the country on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where poultry was introduced into his life.

His education was at a unique time when values such as loyalty, reasoning, a sense of obligation, a sense of responsibility, and probably most of all common sense were in vogue. Pre-Veterinary studies were at the University of Maryland College Park, MD. Veterinary Studies were at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

He worked for two years as a Poultry Veterinarian for a proprietary laboratory and discovered what he wanted to do with his life’s work: graduate studies in Poultry Diseases.

Dr. Siccardi received several prestigious Awards, Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships over a period of 4 years for studies and research at the University of Minnesota. He became totally engrossed in a really broad learning and research environment with professors that encouraged original and innovative thought. He had developed a reputation for practical research, seeing through complex situations by concentrating on the basic cause(s) of a problem - not wasting time on finding a "Band Aid".

Dr. Siccardi then had the unique opportunity, he was asked to participate in the development of a Land Grant Philosophy University in a former colonial West African setting under the auspices of the Universities of London, Michigan State University, and USAID at The University of Nigeria at Nsukka, E. Nigeria. The experience of living in a setting, generations behind current times in the US, influenced his basic thought, motivation, and resourceful processes forever.

Upon return from the foreign duty, Dr. Siccardi was invited to become a Research Scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service at E. Lansing, MI. During this period he was able to do graduate study in Pathology at Michigan State University. The research involved the diagnosis of Avian Cancers, where he participated in finding the viral cause of and a vaccine for a major cancer of poultry. He left that position after some very good work for another challenging position.

Dr. Siccardi was hired by the Campbell Institute of Agricultural Research at Fayetteville, AR as a Research Scientist and was given the funds to design and develop a first-class investigative facility. In a 3 year period, in addition to building and equipping the facility, he hired and trained a qualified staff. The work included the identification of a medication for the prevention of Avian Malaria and was cleared for use by the FDA. The particular bacterium was isolated for the first time, and became the first licensed live vaccine to be used for successful prevention of Fowl Cholera, a devastating disease of Chickens and Turkeys. In addition, he identified a new disease expression (a respiratory problem) for an organism thought only to cause arthritis.

After Campbell/Swanson, a Consultation and Research company was established. Two research facilities performed basic studies establishing the efficiency and toxicology of a number drugs and antibiotics for FDA clearance for most of the large national and international pharmaceutical firms. In addition, he was asked to speak or participate in the major poultry conferences and published a number of related articles. Consulting became a major activity on problems involving production, disease, and processing with a large number of poultry companies in North and South America, and Africa. After about four years, he realized that all this disease "stuff" was not the real issue. The real causes of disease problems revolve around basic husbandry, environmental control, comfort and sanitation.

As Coenco moved into the Industrial arena, it didn’t take long to realize that to get started with a company, the place to start is at maintenance, the plant manager, or the owner. In general, the engineer, with very few exceptions, was a one way trip to nowhere. There are several real problems when engaged in original or groundbreaking study. To paraphrase Mark Twain, "When one develops something new and different, some will be gratified and interested, but others that may be directly affected will be driven bonkers".

As a society we have a responsibility to conserve our natural resources and climate. Finding and promoting any and all aspects that result in minimization of energy use, conservation of the environment, and promotion of pollution control to the greatest extent possible is Coenco's primary goal at all times.