The University of Wyoming College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources will honor notable alumni and supporters on its annual Ag Appreciation weekend Sept. 29-Oct 1.
Recipients include outstanding alumni Craig Alford and Larry Prager; legacy award winner Ann Ramsay, in honor of Elizabeth McCabe; and Farm Credit Services of America, corporate partner of the year.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Starting as a warehouse worker in 1978, Larry Prager, CEO of Center of the Nation Wool, has been a leader in the wool industry, keeping U.S. wool competitive in a global market.
In 1993, he became general manager at Center of the Nation Wool in Belle Fourche, S.D. He was named president of the U.S. Wool Marketing Association in 1997.
“Prager combined his technical wool skills with the work of progressive ranchers to increase the marketability and value of wool from Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. The code of practice in use across the US today is built on Prager’s contributions,” shares a South Dakota producer.
In 2019, Prager’s company handled nearly 5 million pounds of wool, about 20 percent of all wool shorn in the U.S.
Like Prager, alumnus Craig Alford has applied his agricultural knowledge and interests to achieve success on an international scale.
Originally from Australia, the esteemed weed scientist came to Wyoming as a high school exchange student and moved on to earn his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees at UW. Throughout his career, Alford has helped develop and launch critical herbicide solutions in Wyoming as well as nationally and internationally.
Currently a global biology leader for rice and specialty herbicides at Corteva Agriscience, he continues to work with Wyoming researchers to develop methods for combating noxious invasives.
The UW College of Ag named Ann Ramsay, in honor of Elizabeth McCabe, recipient of the 2022 Legacy Award.
McCabe, Ramsay’s mother, was a much-loved member of the Jackson Hole community. A passionate supporter of the 4-H program, she photographed every Teton County fair for more than four decades.
In December 2020, Ramsay donated a property in Teton County to support UW Extension in her mother’s honor. The $1.8 million generated by the sale of the property created an endowment to help supplement the salaries of extension employees and offset high living costs in the area.
“Ann sees the value of the extension service and the 4-H program to keeping this place a community,” says Mary Martin, a longtime extension educator based in Jackson. “4-H kids grow up with a skill set that’s enviable. She’s making sure that continues.”
Corporate Partner of the Year
Farm Credit Services of America is the 2022 recipient of UW College of Ag’s Corporate Partner of the Year award.
The organization supports a wide variety of ag education and outreach programs in Wyoming, ranging from annual scholarships to a $1.5 million gift that helped launch UW’s Ranch Management and Agricultural Leadership (RMAL) program.
Launched in 2022, the new program connects university students, faculty, and extension personnel with producers and ranch managers across the state, creating opportunities for learning, networking, and discussion.
“We choose to help fund the RMAL program because it provides students with technical knowledge and real-world experiential learning that will benefit Wyoming’s agricultural industry for generations to come,” explains Teresa Mardesen, community relations manager for Farm Credit Services of America.