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Published February 25, 2019
The Wyoming Crop Improvement Association (WCIA) presented its Excellence in Service Award to the director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES) for his work with the state’s agriculture and seed industry.
Bret Hess, associate dean of research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming, was recognized at the organization’s meeting earlier this month. Hess has served as the supervisor for the Wyoming Seed Certification Service, which is foundational to the Wyoming seed industry. The seed service is managed by the WAES.
Park County farmer Mike Forman has been president of the WCIA for several years.
“We started off with Bret being the associate dean for research and director of the experiment station coming out of the UW animal science department,” says Forman, who farms on Heart Mountain west of Powell. “That made us farmers a little suspect of him, but he’s proven to be such a friend of the crop improvement association and seed service. He’s been a tremendous ally in everything we tried to accomplish.”
He also cites better communication with the university.
“We’re 400 miles away, and it’s not easy to communicate with everyone in Laramie, but Bret has made it simple,” Forman says.
The WCIA noted Hess’ emphasis on working with the Wyoming seed industry and representing that industry to the UW administration and state legislators through testimony and increased communication.
Other nominators highlighted Hess’ use of input from agricultural producers to guide College of Agriculture and Natural Resources research and UW Extension efforts. In addition to research support, the WAES directs research and extension centers near Laramie, Lingle, Powell and Sheridan.