Chuck Sylvester wins Witwer Legacy Award at National Western
DENVER – A man who helped initiate the Stow Witwer Legacy Award at the National Western Stock Show won the award Thursday.
Chuck Sylvester of La Salle, who was the general manager of the National Western from 1978-2003, was given the award by Paul Andrews, president and CEO of the National Western prior to Thursday’s Market Beef Show championship run.
The award is named after the late Stow Witwer, owner of the historic SLW Ranch east of Greeley, who was associated with the National Western, in particular with junior market livestock shows, for most of his adult life. He died in 1991, and the award was started in his name. It goes to people who have demonstrated a long-time commitment to youth involved in agriculture and the livestock industry.
Sylvester recalled Witwer fondly.
“I helped get this (award) started, but I certainly never dreamed I’d be a recipient. I loved Stow and what he did. Every kid, especially kids in agriculture, should be able to have a mentor like him. He was a great rancher, but one of his better traits was his love of children, and his willingness to help them at any time,” Sylvester said.
Carol Witwer Worth, a daughter of Witwer’s and sister of Stow Witwer Jr., a Greeley attorney who continues to live on the SLW, which continues to raise Hereford cattle, was on hand to help present the award to Sylvester.
Andrews called Sylvester a “trail boss” of the National Western, starting to work in the stockyards prior to becoming named general manager.
“Attendance at the National Western grew consistently while he was the general manager,” Andrews said. Following his retirement, Sylvester has continued his association with the stock show, chairing the 100th anniversary of the show in 2006.
“He’s among the giants of the National Western,” Andrews said.