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Leaders in agriculture: Annual Agriculture Hall of Fame Picnic honors four of Wyoming’s finest.

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A gathering of some of Wyoming’s finest ag personnel took place at the 2020 Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame Picnic at Riverside Park in Douglas on Aug. 12 to celebrate the induction of Brad Boner and Jack and Diana Berger into the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame and to recognize Marissa Cornelison as the Wyoming Ag in the Classroom (WAIC) Educator of the Year. 

The picnic was hosted by Farm Credit Services of America, the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, University of Wyoming (UW) Extension and Clark and Associates Land Brokers.

Several notable individuals, including Gov. Mark Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), University of Wyoming (UW) President Ed Siedel, UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Barbara Rasco and Superintendant Jillian Balow, were in attendance and took turns addressing the crowd. 

“I just want to say, it is wonderful to see everybody. It is always wonderful to see everybody, but this year in particular it is very special,” said Cheney. “Over in Washington, D.C. we are fighting for Wyoming agriculture every single day, and we will continue to do that. Nobody gets through the tough times the way Wyoming’s ag industry does, so I want to thank everyone for everything.” 

“We had some crazy things start happening in March but Wyoming agriculture never missed a step,” added Gordon. “In some of the darkest days, our community came together to put on a state fair. Our country and state’s agriculture industry is fundamental. It is what drives our nation and feeds our people. God bless everyone and thank you for what you do.” 

2020 Wyoming Ag Hall of Fame inductees 

Barrasso took to the stage to present the first award to 2020 Wyoming Ag Hall of Fame inductee Brad Boner. 

Barrasso began reading from the Congressional Record, a speech given on the floor of the United States Senate, “After graduating from UW with an ag business degree, Brad returned to Glenrock where he still ranches at the M Diamond Angus Ranch alongside his two brothers, Rob and Jeff and their father, Bob. Brad’s involvement in agriculture goes far beyond production. In fact, his dedication and passion for the industry are evident through his active involvement in both the cattle and sheep industries at local, state and national levels.” 

“In addition to serving in many capacities to the benefit of the Wyoming sheep ranching community, Brad steps up and serves as an articulate spokesman on moving the sheep industry forward. One of his most noteworthy accomplishments is Brad’s active role in forming the Mountain States Lamb Cooperative (MSLC) including serving as MSLC’s first and current chairman,” Barrasso read. 

“Brad is not only a leader in Wyoming’s ag community but a wonderful mentor to the youth across the state. He believes sharing agriculture with students is the best way to ensure the continuation of this community for generations to come,” added Barrasso. 

“I think I speak for many when I say I am truly grateful for his leadership, his many attributions and his caring demeanor that has so graciously blessed our state in so many ways,” Barrasso continued. “With his constant diligence to improve and impact his community, it is with great honor to induct him into the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame. He represents every positive attribute of a leader in Wyoming agriculture and the Code of the West. It is because of people like him that the agriculture industry in Wyoming has a bright and productive future.” 

In acceptance of his award, Brad commented, “Thank you everyone. It is a tremendous honor. I would also like to thank our state legislators who fight everyday for Wyoming agriculture. I see a lot of people in the audience who spend their days also fighting for agriculture everyday, and I thank them for that.” 

Brad continued, “Most importantly, I would like to thank my wife, Laurie and my kids. I appreciate their patience. I also appreciate my brothers for stepping up when I wasn’t home and for my mom and dad, who instilled a passion for agriculture in my core.” 

Saratoga natives Jack and Diana Berger were also inducted into the Wyoming Ag Hall of Fame and were presented with the award from Rep. Cheney. 

“Today I am pleased to recognize Jack and Diana Berger as Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame inductees,” stated Cheney. “Jack and Diana have a passion for the ag industry and their fellow producers. They genuinely enjoy ranching and making a living off of the land.” 

Reading from the Congressional Record, Cheney continued, “The Bergers also firmly believe the most effective policy decisions are made at the state and local level, especially when concerning critical industries like agriculture. Like most folks in the great state of Wyoming, the Bergers know hard work, proper stewardship of the land and a commitment to their neighbors will go a long way in ensuring a strong ag industry and happy and healthy communities.” 

“I want to extend my congratulations to them and thank them for their service and years of hard work. Jack and Diana Berger truly live the cowboy way of life, and I am proud to have the opportunity to recognize their achievements as inductees into the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame,” Cheney stated. “Wyoming is well served by their lasting and continuing contributions to our great state.” 

Jack expressed his gratitude upon receiving the prestigious honor, “Thank you for this. It is a really special honor, and we are joining a great group of people in the Wyoming Ag Hall of Fame.” 

WAIC Educator of the Year 

Following the induction of Brad Boner and Jack and Diana Berger into the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame, Cheney recognized Mountain View Fifth Grade Teacher Marissa Cornelison as the WAIC 2020 Educator of the Year. 

“Cornelison is active in her school, community and WAIC programs. She has been involved with writ- ing, revising and teaching the Wyoming Stewardship Project over the past three years,” said Cheney. “Over the last two years, Cornelison has taught the Wyoming Stewardship Project to every fifth grade student at Mountain View Elementary.” 

As the 2020 Educator of the Year, Cornelison was awarded a cash prize of $1,000 through Wyoming Agriculture in the Class- room. The award was sponsored by Mantha Philips and the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. 

After receiving her award, Cornelison commented, “Thank you for this great honor. This has been an overwhelming recognition, and I feel so honored to be part of the stewardship project. Thank you. I am so grateful.” 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to roundup@wylr.net.

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