I grew up in Golden, Colorado, the second of 5 brothers. As a town kid, my interest in agriculture began with Golden High’s Vocational Agriculture program and FFA. I attended Colorado State University, initially as an animal science major where I milked my way through school at CSU’s dairy. Inspired by C. Wayne Cook during an introductory Range Management course that I tried unsuccessfully to get out of, I changed my major to Range Ecology/ Mined Land Reclamation during my junior year.
I spent summers in Meeker, Colorado working on reclamation for Colowyo Coal Company and returned after graduation. While I waited for Colowyo to lift hiring freezes on new, permanent employees, for several years I was employed half the year at the mine and then packed up my 1964 Buick station wagon to move and work the remainder of the year on family -owned cow-calf and range sheep operations.
I came back to the front range and Longmont to learn the agricultural and native grass seed business working for Arkansas Valley Seed Company during the peak of the Conservation Reserve program. I loved the business, the company and the people but left after 4 years to take a dream job near Orchard, Colorado working for a large, farm/ranch/ and bird hunting operation.
The job in Orchard was wonderful but hard on family life. The front range and Boulder County was the last place in Colorado I thought I would end up but after another 4 years, I went to the front range once more to work for the City of Boulder Open Space as an Agricultural Resource Specialist and eventually to Boulder County Parks & Open Space to help build a new Agricultural Resources Division. For the past 28 years I have been involved working with farmers, ranchers, Parks & Open Space staff, agency folks, neighbors and the citizens of Boulder County to provide for the stewardship of 25,000 acres of agricultural land leased to 70 private operators who are our partners. Operations vary from irrigated, diversified cropland, dryland cropland, irrigated hay & pasture, rangeland, large scale organic vegetable production, small market farms and combinations of many of the above.
My job involved every aspect of supporting our agricultural producers in caring for the land and water. Along the way, I also restored close to 2000 acres of marginal dryland cropland to native species grassland and represented County Open Space where oil & gas development occurred on open space lands. For the last two years I have been involved almost entirely with the management of Boulder County’s $290 million water rights portfolio. I retired in January 2023 and am now employed part-time with Boulder County Parks & Open Space in an advisory capacity.
At the end of 2024, I hope to fully retire from Boulder County to my home in Longmont and intend to spend a great deal more time with my wife Liz and our 17 and 14 year old sons, Lucas and Robbie doing the many things we love in our beautiful (though somewhat crowded) state.