Colorado wheat leader Darrell Hanavan retires after 34 years |

Colorado wheat leader Darrell Hanavan retires after 34 years

A Colorado agriculture veteran has retired from three wheat organizations.

Darrell Hanavan announced his retirement Friday from the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee, Colorado Association of Wheat Growers and Colorado Wheat Research Foundation after a 34-year career. Hanavan served as the executive director of the three organizations. The retirements became effective on Feb. 11.

Hanavan will serve as a consultant to the research foundation over the next two years, providing insight and ensuring that institutional knowledge is passed on to new leadership, according to a news release from Colorado Wheat.

Under Hanavan’s leadership, farmer referendums to double wheat assessments were passed in 1988 and 2007. He played a role in the organization of the research foundation in 1989 and subsequent agreements with Colorado State University, giving ownership of CSU-developed wheat varieties and novel traits to the foundation, and increasing Colorado market share of CSU-developed varieties owned by the foundation to more than 72 percent in 2015.

Hanavan led commercialization efforts for a new herbicide-tolerant trait developed through a public-private partnership, which is being patented in 53 countries.

He also helped negotiate a partnership with Ardent Mills for an identity-protected premium program for hard white wheats and helped bring Ardent Mills’ company headquarters to Denver, the release stated.

The Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee is the producer-elected board of control for the Colorado Wheat Marketing Order, which has the purpose of deciding how assessment funds are to be spent for research, promotion and education activities.

The Colorado Association of Wheat Growers is a voluntary membership association that lobbies on behalf of wheat growers at the state and national levels of government and provides special programs and benefits to dues paying members. The Colorado Wheat Research Foundation serves as an important link in the Colorado Wheat Cultivar Program. The Colorado Wheat Research Foundation works with CSU to help develop and distribute new wheat varieties.

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