UW College of Ag Recognizes Outstanding Alumni, Supporters

pencil sketch of man with cowbo hat and classes, photo of woman with dark ahair and black blazer, logo for Mountain Meadow Wool Mill in Buffalo, and a portrait of a woman with short blond hair wearing white collared dress

The University of Wyoming College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources will honor notable alumni and supporters at the annual dean’s banquet in Laramie Thursday, Oct. 5. The event marks the beginning of Agriculture Appreciation weekend, a yearly event celebrating UW’s connection to the agricultural community.

Honorees include outstanding alumni Roger Stuber and Karen Williams; corporate partner Mountain Meadow Wool; and legacy award recipient Laura Bucholz of the Gretchen Swanson Family Foundation.

pencil sketch of male rancher wearing cowboy hat and glasses
Roger Stuber

Outstanding alumnus recognized for leadership in the cattle industry

University of Wyoming alumnus Roger Stuber was the first member of his family to graduate college, earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1962. He originally set out to become a lawyer, but quickly realized he’d rather put his education to use on the family ranch.

With Stuber at the helm, the Stuber Hereford Ranch (SHR) has raised and owned bulls at the top of almost every expected progeny difference category at the American Hereford Association. In 2014, Stuber was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame.

In addition to winning the National Western Stock Show twice, SHR cattle have achieved international acclaim, shipped to buyers as far away as Argentina and Kazakhstan.

Over the years, Stuber has influenced state, national, and international legislation through leadership in industry organizations, including the National Cattlemen’s Association. He considers UW a vital contributor to his success, commenting that “If I’ve had any success in these national boards, it’s because I’ve taken classes in commerce.”

portrait of smiling woman with short brown hair wearing black blazer and turquoise earrings
Karen Williams

UW alumna Karen Williams remembered as outstanding educator

Karen Williams, posthumous recipient of the UW College of Ag’s 2023 Outstanding Alumni Award, was a champion of educational excellence in Wyoming and beyond. Her life’s work focused on the education of young children, and the education of those who teach young children.

Williams received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from UW in 1993, specializing in early childhood education. Her lengthy career in the UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences included a seven-year stint as department head.

One of her most cherished achievements was the creation of UW’s Early Care and Education Center in Laramie. “Karen was the lead advocate and designer of the new building,” says Margaret Cooney, a longtime colleague and friend.

Williams was also an early advocate for distance learning, leveraging technology to serve place-bound students and adult learners. She launched UW’s distance professional child development bachelor’s degree program and later established the bachelor’s of applied science (BAS) in organizational leadership program.

Williams rounded out her career at UW as a university assessment specialist in the Office of Academic Affairs, retiring in 2015. Her legacy lives on in the educational opportunities she created for past, present and future students.

Wyoming mill recognized for support of UW sheep program

decorative logo for Mountain Meadow Wool, a wool mill in Buffalo Wyoming

Mountain Meadow Wool, a regional wool mill in Buffalo, Wyoming, received the UW College of Ag’s 2023 Corporate Partner Award.

In the six years that UW has partnered with Mountain Meadow Wool, the mill has hosted more than 200 undergraduate students and 130 sheep industry stakeholders.

Mountain Meadow Wool also acts as a production partner in Wyoming Wool Initiative’s annual blanket project, now in its third year. Through the blanket project, operations manager Ben Hostetler and his team have contributed to traceability research on the use of blockchain technology in the sheep industry.

“It’s not hyperbole when we say that Mountain Meadow Wool is an unofficial satellite campus and laboratory in our educational and outreach efforts,” says Lindsay Conley-Stewart, Wyoming Wool Initiative coordinator.

Currently, Mountain Meadow Wool is working with UW on several new projects, including sock production and a feasibility study on first-stage wool processing.

Generous donor helps smooth water rights conflict in the West

smiling woman with short blonde hair wearing white collared dress

The UW College of Ag named Laura Bucholz, president of the Gretchen Swanson Family Foundation, recipient of the 2023 Legacy Award. The Swanson Foundation recently made a generous gift to UW’s hydrology program in honor of Bucholz’s late husband, Kurt Bucholz.

A rancher, veterinarian, and legislator, he paved the way for a new approach to irrigation administration in southern Wyoming’s Brush Creek watershed. His wife has continued his quest for ethical water rights management through her engagement with the Brush Creek project, which brings together area ranchers and UW scientists to manage local water priorities.

The Swanson Foundation’s gift created the Dr. Kurt S. Bucholz Irrigation Science Excellence Fund, which supports water management research in the UW Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

The gift also established the Watershed Hydrology Graduate Assistantship, which provides funding to a graduate student serving as irrigation administrator in the Brush Creek system.

“This gift will leave an impression not just on the university, but also on the state of Wyoming as a whole,” comments UW President Ed Seidel.

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