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DAA: Kenneth L. Schwab

Kenneth L. Schwab

Shreveport, LA | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2000

Kenneth Schwab sees many lives in• pieces of wood, and his visions inspire handcrafted furniture designed to link generations. An old walnut tree on the family’s Wolcott, Ind., dairy farm captured his heart and imagination, Schwab says. When the tree was cut down, he kept several large pieces. And when Schwab took up woodworking years later, he honed his skills on the pieces of wood that represented family, permanency, and roots, fashioning an intricate loveseat that graces the entryway of his Shreveport, La., home. “Woodworking is very therapeutic,” Schwab says. .”It’s so rewarding to have tangible, hands-on evidence. of completing a task don’t always experience that in the ‘people’ business,” A handcrafted wooden rocking horse stands sentry in the entryway as well. His three sons have long outgrown it, but the toy remains a sentimental favorite, Schwab says. Hidden treasures are joys as well. Schwab is always on the hunt for antiques and he’s an avid refinisher. “I like to find old furniture that’s been painted,’’ he says. “It’s rewarding to liberate the beautiful wood that lies under the surface.” Stories lie beneath the veneers as well. A cabinet, handcrafted by Schwab’s great, great, great-grandfather and passed down to the oldest son of each generation, serves as an enduring lesson in history and perspective. “I look at that piece every day, and I’m reminded of its many lives in many different homes throughout the decades,” Schwab says. “It carries an incredibly rich history. “I find the older I get, the more connected I am with family and heritage. My family is my passion.”