Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame inducts three
by Becky Talley
Fence Post Staff Reporter
Marshall Frasier, Kirvin Knox and Keith Propst were inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Feb. 19 at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver. This marked the 13th year that outstanding members of the agriculture community were recognized for their contributions to the rural way of life.
Overall there were 225 people in attendance and 26 FFA members present. The ceremony offered a unique chance for younger members in agriculture to see what kind of difference a lifetime of dedication can do for the industry.
“We are recognizing the leaders and showcasing them for the younger group,” said Jeri Mattics Omernik, Colorado FFA Foundation chairperson.
The first inductee of the evening, Marshall Frasier of Woodrow, has ranched in the area for 50 plus years. He currently raises angus cattle, runs yearlings and raises fall calving cows.
He has an impressive track record of supporting agriculture. He is a past president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and of the Colorado Livestock Producers. Frasier served 10 years on the beef council and 10 years on the National Livestock and Meat Board. He also served for two years as the Region V vice president of the National Cattlemen’s Association executive board.
Frasier is well respected by those of all ages, as was evidenced by the attendance of Woodlin FFA chapter members, who came to show their appreciation of Frasier and all that he has done. “Frasier farms is a big supporter of our chapter,” said Holly McGuire, chapter member.
Frasier was surprised at the nomination. “It’s a wonderful honor, I really didn’t expect it,” he said.
Joining Frasier in the ranks of the Hall of Fame was the night’s second inductee, Kirvin Knox of Fort Collins.
Knox made his mark in Colorado agriculture by serving as the vice provost of agriculture and university outreach dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University. In this capacity, Knox worked tirelessly to open the lines of communication between state agriculture and the University up to his retirement in 2000. He continues to be an avid spokesperson for agriculture.
For Knox this was a great honor. “This is a way to honor those who have dedicated their lives to agriculture and tried to preserve that way of life,” he said, adding that honoring the pioneers in the industry is important because they are the cornerstone for agriculture.
Like Knox, Frasier had a fan club present. “He’s a great grandfather,” said grandson Graham Murray.
The third inductee into the Hall of Fame was Keith Propst of Merino.
Propst raises corn, hay and some sugarbeets in addition to raising cattle on his 126-year-old ranch.
Propst has been secretary and president of the Logan County Farm Bureau then served on the Colorado Farm Bureau state board of directors and as vice president and finally president of the state organization in 1974. He has also been involved in the South Platte Ditch company, Mountain States Beet Growers and was a founding member of the Great Western Beef Expo.
Propst has also volunteered his time as a 4-H leader and to several community groups.
“It’s really a great honor from an organization I have a great respect for,” Propst said.
The annual Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet is hosted by the Colorado FFA Foundation and the State FFA Officer team was responsible for running the evening’s program. Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Ament served as master of ceremonies for the induction.
The banquet also benefitted the FFA Foundation. “In addition to honoring the three men, it will also be a fund-raiser for FFA,” said State FFA Vice President Brian Cunningham.
The banquet brought forth a collage of people, both young and old. Past inductees were invited to an early reception to catch up with friends and welcome in their fellow agriculturists.
Though the night was special for those of all ages, it really belonged to the inductees.
In order to be inducted the individuals must first be nominated. The nominations are then mulled over and voted on and finally the winners are chosen. “There is no specific criteria other than the impact they have on agriculture,” said Jeri Mattics Omernik.
Most inductees didn’t know they were nominated until a short time before ceremony. “It was quite a surprise to me, I tell you,” said 1998 inductee Dale Ferguson of Palisade, Colo.