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UW honors alumni, supporters

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The University of Wyoming (UW) College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources (CALSNR) honored notable alumni and supporters at the Annual Dean’s Banquet in Laramie on Oct. 5. 

The event marked the beginning of Agriculture Appreciation Weekend, a yearly event celebrating UW’s connection to the agricultural community.

Honorees included corporate partner Mountain Meadow Wool, Legacy Award recipient Laura Bucholz of the Gretchen Swanson Family Foundation and outstanding alumnus Roger Stuber and Karen Williams.

Wyoming mill recognized for support of UW sheep program 

Mountain Meadow Wool, a regional wool mill in Buffalo, received the UW CALSNR 2023 Corporate Partner Award.

In the six years 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 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

UW CALSNR 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, Kurt 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.

Outstanding alumnus recognized

Additionally, the college named Roger Stuber and Karen Williams as recipients of the 2023 Outstanding Alumni Award. 

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, and in 2014, Stuber was inducted into the association’s hall of fame.

Over the years, Stuber has influenced state, national and international legislation through leadership in industry organizations, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Karen Williams 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.

One of her most cherished achievements was the creation of UW’s Early Care and Education Center in Laramie.

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 of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership Program.

More on Stuber and Williams can be found in the Sept. 23 edition of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup or at

Brooke Ortel is a writer and editor for UW Ag News. This article was originally published by UW Ag News on Oct. 2.

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