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Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame to Induct Five

Colorado FFA Foundation

The 22nd Annual Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet will bring together members of the agricultural community, allied industries and friends and supporters from across the state to celebrate the colorful history of the Colorado Agriculture industry. This year the Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct five new members into its ranks.

Mr. William Coors of Golden, Colo., Dr. Ben Konishi of Alamosa, Colo., Mr. John Schweizer, Jr., of Rocky Ford, Colo., Mr. George Tempel of Wiley, Colo., and Mr. William Wailes of Fort Collins, Colo., will be honored for their lifetime achievements in agriculture during a banquet and ceremony Feb. 24th, 2011, 5:30 p.m., at the Renaissance Hotel, Denver, Colo.

William Coors of Golden, Colo., developed the Coors Barley System that is considered the gold standard amongst brewers today. This system has created local relationships with hundreds of Colorado barley growers resulting in over 6 million bushels and $30 million in purchases of Colorado grown barley each year. Known for his passion for the local producer he continues to work at the grower level to develop crop strains that are beneficial to the family company and the farmer.

Dr. Ben Konishi of Alamosa, Colo., is a true believer in animal husbandry. He has worked tirelessly and efficiently for his clients and their animals as a veterinarian in the San Luis Valley for over 60 years. Known for his accuracy and speed of pregnancy checking his services are requested far and wide. “Doc Ben” is known as a man of true generosity throughout his community and profession.

John Schweizer, Jr., of Rocky Ford, Colo., has spent a lifetime farming and ranching in the Arkansas Valley. Purchasing the families first farm ground almost 50 years ago. He has also been committed to preserving the agricultural way of life through extensive involvement in Farm Bureau, Farm Service Agency, and the Lower Arkansas Valley Super Ditch Company.

George Tempel of Wiley, Colo., has impacted agriculture throughout all of eastern Colorado and beyond. An entrepreneur, he has built many sustainable agricultural businesses that allowed small communities to thrive. Grain elevators, rail car shipping terminals, a feedlot, swine finishing barns, a feed mill, a oil processing plant, a hotel, and a restaurant/truck stop round the diverse list. All of these endeavors have assured agriculture will remain strong and rural life will be protected.

William Wailes of Fort Collins, Colo., has been a true ambassador of the dairy industry in Colorado and globally. Serving as a bridge between academic knowledge and practical application for Colorado’s dairy families Wailes has impacted the dairy industry for over 30 years. A dairyman himself, the CSU Department of Animal Science Chairman has worked closely with all of Colorado’s dairy families sharing the latest technological, financial, and genetic advances for the betterment of all.

The banquet is held in conjunction with the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture and is a prime opportunity to gauge the direction of the industry and learn about issues facing one of the largest industries in Colorado. Both the forum and the banquet are attended by industry and political leaders as well as family farmers and ranchers who lead and support the agriculture industry and its future.

Hosted by the Colorado FFA Foundation, the banquet is held yearly to induct members into the Agriculture Hall of Fame who have significantly contributed to Colorado’s second largest industry.


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