Montana State College of Agriculture Seeks Nominations for Outstanding Agricultural Leaders

by Colter Brown

BOZEMAN – The College of Agriculture at Montana State University is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Agricultural Leader award, which will be presented during the annual Celebrate Agriculture Weekend Nov. 3-4 at MSU. The deadline to submit nominations is Aug. 30. 

The award recognizes individuals, families or businesses that have gone above and beyond for the Montana agricultural industry in the realms of public service, advocacy, production or business. Awardees will be honored during the Celebrate Ag breakfast event on Nov. 4 ahead of the Bobcat football agriculture appreciation game against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks.

Nominations can be submitted online at Jay Bodner of Helena received the award in 2022.

“Celebrate Agriculture Weekend is always a highlight of our fall semester, and the opportunity to recognize the many people who help our agricultural industry thrive is something we look forward to all year,” said MSU Vice President for Agriculture and Dean Sreekala Bajwa. “Collaboration and connection are what make our work so gratifying, and welcoming our friends and colleagues to Bozeman is always a welcome opportunity to deepen those connections.” 

The selection committee for the Outstanding Agricultural Leader award comprises past chairpersons of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station Advisory Council; the College of Agriculture’s Academic Advisory Committee and development board; a current faculty member; and a member of the College of Agriculture Student Advisory Council.  

To be considered for the award, nominees must be well respected in their agricultural community with accomplishments that have wide impact; be an industry leader or an emerging and active innovative producer; and be actively involved in the agriculture industry.

Active MSU or government employees are only eligible for the award’s “Friend of the COA/MAES” category. Retired university or government employees will be considered if they have been retired for at least two years and have shown service above and beyond their job description. Nominees who are not selected will be reconsidered in future years, but application forms should be updated.

Hard copies of the nomination form can be requested by calling the College of Agriculture dean’s office at 406-994-3681.  Celebrate Agriculture Weekend is an annual event to honor Montana’s agricultural legacy and current and future agricultural leaders, producers and students. For more information about Celebrate Agriculture and a full agenda, visit 

Check out this list of the past Outstanding Agricultural Leaders!


Jay Bodner, Helena/Raynesford


Dave Kelsey, Molt


Buzz Mattelin, Culbertson


Ron Ueland, Butte (awarded posthumously)


David Oien, Ulm


Jim Hagenbarth, Dillon


Max & Kirsti Cederberg, Turner

Lola Raska, Belt


Don Burnham, Helena

Sky Anderson & Monica Switzer, Shields Valley


Bing Von Bergen, Moccasin

Tom & Mary Kay Milesnick, Belgrade

Friend of College/Station: Senator Max Baucus


Dale Schuler, Carter

Larry and Madge Pilster, Alzada


Diana Alkire, Bozeman

Dan Lake, Ronan

Richard Owen, Geraldine


Dan Kidd, Big Sandy

Janice Mattson, Chester


John Swanz, Judith Gap

John Youngberg, Belgrade


Taylor Brown, Huntley

Les Graham, Bozeman


John Paugh, Belgrade


Gary Broyles, Rapelje

Lochiel Edwards, Big Sandy

Tom Jurenka, Hysham


Jon and Sharla Tester, Big Sandy

Tom and Carol Peterson, Wilsall

Jake Cummins, Bozeman


Bob Hanson, White Sulphur Springs

Donald Fast, Glasgow

Chuck McGlothlin, Park City

Gene Surber, Bozeman


Robert, Ann and Earl Boettcher, Big Sandy

Harlin and Jodi Steiger, Forsyth


Kevin Halverson, Big Timber

David L. McClure, Lewistown

Public service to ag: Greg Bennett, Ronan

Public service to ag: Senator Conrad Burns


Vern and Naomi Pluhar, Cohagen

Greg Gould, Aimee Hachigian-Gould & sons Brandon and Andrew, Ulm


Don and Bernadine Lake, Ronan

Ralph Peck, Helena

Ole Ueland, Silver Bow and Deer Lodge counties


Lynn Cornwell, Glasgow

Don Herzog, Rapelje

Bob Bellows, Miles City

Magnus Aasheim, Antelope


Bob Thoft, Stevensville

Don Steinbeisser, Sidney

Bill Jones, Choteau

Kathleen Hanson, Melville


Marie Hovland, Great Falls

Glenn and Mary Ann Moore, Billings

Mark and Nancy Peterson, Havre

John and Florence Young, Decker


Bill and Charlotte Mathers, Miles City

Terry Murphy, Cardwell

Mack and Dorothea Quinn, Big Sandy


Larry and Molly Descheemaeker, Lewistown

Dean and Hope Folkvord, Three Forks

Bob and Kathy Lee, Judith Gap

John “Bud” and Joanne Leuthold, Billings

Chuck and Stephanie Merja, Sun River

Rick and Mary Sampsen, Dagmar


MSU News Service

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x