Colorado FFA Foundation to honor hall of famers, rising star in ag
Each year, the Colorado FFA Foundation pays tribute to members of Colorado agriculture who have made a significant contribution to the industry by inducting them into the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame.
This year, Norman Dalsted of Fort Collins, Les Hardesty of Estes Park, Cleon Kimberling of Fort Collins, and Don Svedman of Fort Collins will all be formally inducted during the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 27, at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver.
This year marks the silver anniversary of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“We are proud to add four more outstanding individuals to the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame. Their accomplishments exemplify education, innovation, and service to others,” said Dale McCall, chairman of the Colorado FFA Foundation.
Dalsted is one of the premier educators for producers and agricultural lenders in Colorado. He led lender and producer education training during times of financial stress for agriculturalists in Colorado. His enterprise budgeting methods are widely used for forecasting by lenders and producers. He contributed greatly with the development of Integrated Ranch Management programs and software models that continue to assist producers. As a professor for over 30 years, he has impacted thousands of students’ lives in the areas of ag management, law, finance and economics.
“It is a tremendous honor, there is no question about that. There are many people who deserve this award that have helped me achieve what I have achieved in my professional life, and have been very influential in my success,” Dalsted said.
He loves being the classroom, and having the opportunity to educate the next generation.
“I enjoy teaching young people because I try to bring as much common sense and experience into the classroom as I can. I want to better prepare them for challenges in their personal and professional lives,” he said.
Dalsted has spent his career in agriculture.
“It’s the basic industry. This country was built on agriculture, and it continues to thrive largely due to the success it has had. We have a plentiful, safe and reliable food supply. Agriculture is incredible industry,” he stated.
Hardesty has contributed to the dairy industry for over 30 years as a producer and leader. He owned and operated the Painted Prairie dairy farm, and educated over 10,000 consumers each year at the Cozy Cow in Windsor. He and his family also spent nine years as ambassadors for the industry through milking and education seminars at the National Western Stock Show and the Colorado State Fair.
He represented dairy farm families locally and nationwide through his positions on the United States Dairy Export Council and on the National Milk Producers Federation. His specialized experiences in dairy pricing, global dairy industry issues and exports, and his willingness to share his expertise, have benefited dairy farmers and the dairy industry.
Hardesty served as a local leader on the Future Farmers of America Agriculture Advisory Council, as well and in 1994 was selected for the Colorado Agricultural Leadership program. He was named Colorado’s Outstanding Young Farmer in 1996.
His leadership is credited with helping align many agricultural industries and great collaboration, and he’s also recognized for being a voice of reason during volatile and strenuous times, and helping to bring peace, stability and unity to the dairy industry.
Kimberling was born in Imperial, Neb., and is known locally, nationally and internationally for his extensive work with dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep. He attended Colorado State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1951, and then earned his degree in veterinary medicine in 1959.
He then spent the next four decades serving as a faculty member at CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and also served as a CSU Extension veterinarian. He has long been willing to mentor and teach anyone interested — from the livestock producer to fellow veterinarians.
In addition to training future veterinarians, he is credited with many major inventions and techniques improving herd health. He was a lead contributor in the development of Brucellosis testing methods, invented a liver biopsy instrument, and has helped to nearly eradicate the disease in many herds across the U.S. His contributions to the sheep industry include developing feed and nutrition standards for flocks. He is also the co-inventor of the Kimberling-Rupp spaying instrument.
Kimberling has fought his own disease issues, and was diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was 65. It was then that he decided to bicycle from Oceanside, Calif., to Bar Harbor, Maine, a roughly 3,500 mile trip. He also he rode to his 50th high school reunion in Nebraska, and has also ridden the entire perimeter of the United States.
The final member to be induced is Svedman, who has spent a lifetime serving others. Born in Windsor, Colo., he worked on his grandfather’s farm, raising cattle, hogs, sheep and dairy. He was selected as Colorado’s “Outstanding 4-H Male” in 1951.
He began his college career at Colorado A&M in 1951, before serving four years in U.S. Naval Aviation during the Korean conflict. He then returned to school and earned his bachelor’s four years later.
Following graduation, he worked with youth and producers as an extension agent in several counties and collaborating with several others. He began his career as an assistant agent in Boulder County, and then served as an Extension agent in Fremont and Custer counties.
He also managed the Colorado State Fair, a position that he was appointed to in 1966 by Gov John Love. He established festivities that continue to be a part of the fair today, as well starting the Colorado Association of Fairs and Shows and the Mexican Fiesta Day.
Svedman then served the state of Colorado as deputy commissioner of agriculture from 1970 to 1985. He continues to serve others through his work as a member of the CSU Alumni Association and assisting with local organizations.
During the banquet, an annual Rising Star award is also presented. This year that award will be presented to John Adent of Greeley. Ardent is the president and CEO of Animal Health International, one of the largest distributors of animal health products in the country.
“It’s quite an honor, of course. The Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame honors the true giants of Colorado agriculture, who have demonstrated a commitment to developing and advancing agriculture in Colorado. Their work and contributions to the community have had a real, tangible and lasting impact on agriculture, not just in Colorado, but around the world. I’m honored to be associated with these men and women, and frankly, humbled as well,” said Adent.
Under his leadership the company has grown four fold since 2004, and Adent truly enjoys working in agriculture.
“I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from working with the people who feed and support our state, our nation, and our world. And the people I see every day, and have worked with over the years — they’re remarkably dedicated in their support of the community, to the stewardship of the land, and not least are great innovators and businessmen as well,” he stated.
He continued, “The leaders of our industry make extra effort and give a tremendous amount of their time to developing our next generation of farmers, ranchers, educators and innovators. A life in agriculture is not just a business, but a way of life. There’s a great body of knowledge and hands-on experience that today’s agricultural leaders are passing down to youth interested in agriculture. I’ve benefited from it, and continue to do so, and will do my best to ensure what I’ve learned gets passed along to our next rising stars.”
The Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame banquet is held in conjunction with the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture.
The honorees will join 77 other outstanding Colorado agriculturists who have been similarly honored since 1989. All Agriculture Hall of Fame members’ portraits are displayed in the Colorado Department of Agriculture offices and will be moved to the CoBank Center for Agricultural Education at Colorado State University upon its completion. ❖