Since 2013, the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (DARE) has recognized some of its outstanding alumni by inducting them into the DARE Hall of Fame. The inductees include a former governor, a former supreme court justice, and several former faculty members. The banquets honoring these individuals have been exceptional events, with opportunities for numerous department alumni to see each other and reconnect with many of our current and retired faculty.
Commissioner Don Brown
Commissioner Brown, a third-generation farmer in Yuma County, has run several successful businesses while spending most of his career managing and growing his family’s extensive farm operations. He has been active in water conservation, energy development, designing and implementing technological innovations within the industry. Don graduated with a degree in agriculture from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, and received a vocational agricultural education degree with honors from CSU. He is a recipient of the Bill Seward Memorial Award – Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Cattle Producer and the Yuma Soil Conservation District Outstanding Conservationist. He is active in many associations and organizations including the National Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, National Corn Growers and Colorado Corn Growers Association. He has also served as president of numerous community organizations. He is also a former Colorado State President of the Future Farmers of America. Don is the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper in January 2015.
Dr. Sanford Lee Gray
Dr. Gray was born in Marshalltown, Iowa. He attended and received two degrees from CSU, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1963 and a Master in Economics in 1965. He received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University. Dr. Gray won the American Agricultural Association award for his dissertation and received the first funded research award for developing an input-output model for water use in Colorado. Lee began his career in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in 1969. He served as Associate Chair of the Department from 1983-1987 and became Chair in 1987. He spent 15 years in department administration, followed by two years as interim Associate Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. Throughout his career, Dr. Gray has been a teacher and an advisor known for his love of working with students. He won numerous accolades for his innovative and effective teaching, including the Pennock Award for Excellence in Teaching, WAEA Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Dr. David W. Fischer
Dr. Fischer received a BS in Business Administration in 1959 from Trinity University in San Antonio. After serving as a lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Air Force, he completed a MS in Resource Development at Michigan State University in 1965. In 1968, he earned the first PhD awarded in Resource Economics from Colorado State University. He was a faculty member at several North American universities, and worked with many international institutes. His research focused on assessing the environmental and social impacts of marine resource issues and providing policy recommendations. Over his career, he published 9 books and more than 90 scientific articles. He worked hard to serve his students, profession and community well.
Dr. John B. Loomis
Dr. Loomis grew up in Orange County, California. In his childhood, he learned to love the outdoors. That love, coupled with the severe pollution problems he experienced as a youth in Los Angeles spurred him to study environmental economics at California State University at Northridge. After graduation, he took a job with BLM, where he became interested in recreational economics. This led him to CSU to pursue a PhD in environmental economics. He became a world-renowned expert in the use of nonmarket valuation methods to value wilderness, air quality, and recreational opportunities. He published over 250 refereed journal articles in these areas of expertise and mentored over 100 graduate students. Dr. Loomis was elected as a fellow of four professional associations and received numerous other recognitions over his 35-year professional career.
Jack Annan is a native of LaSalle, Colorado. He attended CSU, graduating in 1955 with a BS in Vocational Agriculture. Following a stint in the military, he went to New Raymer where he started the school’s vocational agriculture program. He earned an ME degree in 1966 from CSU, then joined the faculty at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling. He has since become an institution at NJC, both as an instructor and an advocate for the school throughout Northeastern Colorado. In recognition of his contributions, the school in 2004 dedicated a bronze statue in his honor and designated Jack as “Mr. NJC.”
Dr. Marie Leigh Livingston
Dr. Livingston is a native of Cedar City, Utah where she grew up on a cattle ranch. She earned a BS degree in Environmental Studies from Utah State in 1977, then an MS degree in Natural Resource Economics in 1979. She came to Colorado State in 1979 to work for the USDA as a research economist, but soon also began working on a PhD in water economics under Dr. Bob Young. After graduating in 1984, she embarked on a nearly 25 year career as an economics professor at University of Northern Colorado. During that time she served in several leadership roles, including chair of the economics program, director of the Environmental Studies Program, the University Honors Program and Coordinator of the Center for Honors, Scholars and Leadership. She has been active in water research both domestically and around the globe. After retiring in 2010 she has worked part-time as an economics instructor at Colorado State University.
Dr. Walter Myers
Dr. Myers is a native of Las Animas, CO, where he grew up on a crop and livestock farm. He is a 1967 graduate in agricultural economics from CSU. After earning an MS degree in 1969, Walt went to Oklahoma State University to pursue a PhD. Before completing his PhD in 1973, he started a distinguished career in agricultural commodity management. His employment included a stint as Vice-President and Director of Commodity Procurement for Swift and Company and 10 years as an independent commodity trader on the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. While still working as a commodity trader, he purchased a 42,000 acre cow/calf operation near Pueblo, Colorado. The operation expanded into a feedlot operation in 1995, which he continued to operate until his retirement in 2004. He then helped start the agricultural business management program at Otero Junior College.
Dr. James A. Knight, Jr.
Dr. Knight is a native of Last Chance, Colorado. He attended CSU, graduating in 1969 with a BS in Vocational Agriculture. He taught school in Holyoke and Golden, Colorado, then returned to CSU to earn a MS in Trade and Industrial Education. After graduation he enrolled at Ohio State University, earning a PhD in 1977 and staying on as a faculty member until 1988. He moved to Tucson, Arizona and worked for several years as a private consultant, then joined the University of Arizona in 1996. He became head of the Department of Agricultural Education in 2000 and later an Associate Dean in Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He retired in 2014.
Dennis Repp was born and raised on a farm near Merino, Colorado. He is a 1960 graduate in agricultural business from CSU. After a stint in the US Army, Dennis and his family settled in Southern California. He started his work career with a job at Union Bank, eventually becoming their head of venture capital operations. In 1972, he moved to Allstate Insurance to manage its venture capital operations. Under his leadership, Allstate provided nearly 50% of all venture capital in the U.S. in the 1970’s, providing seed capital to 85 companies. His business success allowed Dennis to turn his attention to philanthropic ventures. He started Opportunity International, a nonprofit that provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to more than five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. He also has given generously to CSU’s New Start for Student-Veterans Programs, which helps injured veterans return to college to complete their education. For his business and philanthropic efforts, Dennis was awarded the William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award from CSU in 2014 and an honorary doctorate from CSU in 2014.
Dr. Norman K. Whittlesey
Dr. Whittlesey is a native of Basalt, Colorado and a 1955 CSU graduate in Vocational Agriculture. After a stint in the military, Norm returned to CSU and completed a MS degree in Agricultural Economics. He then pursued a PhD at Iowa State University, which he completed in 1964. Norm joined the faculty at Washington State University in 1964 where he became internationally known for his research on water policy issues. He has been involved in several Supreme Court cases involving water and has received several awards for his work in the water area. He is currently retired and lives in Pullman, Washington.
Dr. Richard S. Fenwick, Jr.
Dr. Fenwick was raised in Deer Trail, Colorado. He graduated from CSU in 1962 with a BS in Agricultural Business and received an MS in 1964 in Agricultural Economics. Dick then spent three years as a faculty member at North Dakota State before deciding to pursue a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri. Following completion of the Ph.D., Dick joined the faculty at Kansas State University as an extension agribusiness management specialist. He left KSU in 1978 for a similar position at North Carolina State, then in 1980 accepted a position as Vice-President and Corporate Economist at the Central Bank for Cooperatives (now Co-Bank). Dick retired from Co-Bank in 1995 and in 1996 became President of McClave State Bank. He retired from that position in 2003 and moved to Denver. He currently resides in Arizona.
Jerold L. Harris
Harris, a 1963 graduate in Agricultural Business. He grew up near Denby, South Dakota and attended high school in Gordon, Nebraska. After graduation, Jerold began working for Federal Land Bank of Garden City, Kansas. In 1965 he became a loan analyst for Federal Land Bank (FLB) in Wichita, then became President of the FLB office in Sterling in 1969. From 1974-86 he held a number Vice-President positions for FLB of Wichita. In 1986 he became the CEO of the newly merged Production Credit Association and FLB offices in the Wichita area. He remained in that role under the merger of Farm Credit Bank of Wichita and Western Farm Credit Bank in 2002. Jerold became CEO of the newly merged banking system. He retired in 2007.
Dr. Dale McCall
Dr. McCall, a native of Yuma, Colorado. Dale grew up on an irrigated farming operation and was active in FFA. After graduation he attended Colorado State University, where he received his BS degree in Agricultural Education. He later received M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees from Colorado State. He worked in public education for 38 years, including time as an agricultural education instructor, an instructor at Northeastern Junior College, several state-level positions in vocational education, and a school superintendent. He is active in a host of volunteer organizations, including the Colorado FFA Foundation Board of Directors.
Dr. Melvin D. Skold
Dr. Skold, a native of Haxtun, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University in 1958 with a degree in Agricultural Economics. After completing an MS degree in 1959, Mel went to Iowa State University, where he earned the Ph.D. in 1963. In 1964 he became an Assistant Professor in Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, then moved to CSU in 1967 as an Associate Professor. In 1970 he joined the Economic Research Service group in Fort Collins, where he remained until 1978. Mel moved back to CSU that year and worked as a Professor at CSU until his retirement in 1992.
Gov. Roy R. Romer
The former governor is a 1950 graduate of Agricultural Economics at CSU. In 1948 was recognized as the the outstanding student in the class. He was student body president in his senior year as well as serving on the president’s advisory committee, the social committee and the student union advisory committee. Gov. Romer earned a law degree and practiced law in Denver before becoming a Colorado House of Representatives in 1958 and 1960. In 1962 he became a member of the State Senate in 1962, and served as Commissioner of Agriculture. He then served as State Treasurer from 1977 through 1987. He was elected Colorado\’s 39th governor serving three terms (1987-1999). For five years he served as Superintendent of the Los Angeles School District. After his departure as Superintendent, a new school in North Hollywood was named the Roy Romer Middle School. It opened in 2008 and the school mascot is a ram. Former Gov. Romer has remained active in education reform efforts. In 2008 he became Chairman of a nonprofit organization, Strong American Schools. This organization seeks to raise debate about America’s schools.
Former State Supreme Court Justice Bill Neighbors
Former Justice Neighbors is a 1961 graduate of Agricultural Economics at CSU. He grew up near Hygiene, Colorado on a farm near. His experiences and involvement 4-H activities led him to pursue a career in agriculture. In the fall of 1957 he began his college education at the newly renamed Colorado State University He was involved in the Livestock Club, Newman Club and Farm House Fraternity. Neighbors’ participation in livestock judging was an important activity for him. The critical-thinking skills he learned on the livestock judging team he attributes his later success in law. In his senior year, he was a named student body president. He pursued and completed a master’s degree in Economics (1962). He then enrolled in law school. Neighbors was an attorney in Boulder from 1965 to 1971 in private practice. He followed this by working in the public defender’s office for two years. He was appointed as a district court judge in the 20th Judicial District in 1073. He served in this position for 10 years. He also served on the Colorado Supreme Court from 1983-86. Neighbors has remained active in teaching law at various universities.
Dr. Jim H. Lewis
Dr. Lewis was a CSU Economics faculty member from 1961 to 1983 and from 1983 until his retirement in 1989 he served as a faculty member in Agricultural and Resource Economics. Lewis graduate from Ohio State University, where he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in Agricultural Economics. He focused on agricultural finance, agricultural marketing and natural resource economics in his educational and research pursuits. He has won several awards while a professor at CSU. His greatest legacy, however, has been the many students he mentored as a faculty member.