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Montana State U Names Outstanding Agriculture Leaders

Montana State U Names Outstanding Agriculture Leaders

Montanans receive Outstanding Ag Leader Award, a statewide prize given to individuals or couples who are well-respected in the agricultural community.

Diana Alkire of Bozeman, Dan Lake of Ronan and Richard Owen of Geraldine have been named 2011  Outstanding Ag Leaders by the College of Agriculture at Montana State University.

All three were honored last month at the Celebrating Agriculture Social at MSU's Bozeman campus.

The award is a statewide prize given to individuals or couples who are well-respected in the agricultural community, with achievements that impact many; have a lifetime of serving ag; are industry leaders or upcoming innovative producers, and are actively involved in the state's farm community.

"Montana is a very special place that is exemplified by its people whom are involved in agriculture, and specifically, our diverse awardees," says Jeff Jacobsen, College of Agriculture dean.

"These leaders have been highly engaged with faculty, staff and students across departments and over decade4s in the MSU College of Agriculture. When I think about their home communities – Bozeman, Ronan and Geraldine – it reinforces the real fabric of the people and their core values.

"Their achievements are  certainly notable, but the stunning aspect of each individual is their life-long engagement to advancing agriculture."

Alkire,  Montana Farm Bureau Federation executive secretary and chief financial officer, is part of a farm family that spans 120 years in operation. While growing up, she excelled in 4-H and FFA.  She is a 4-H leader today and continues to be involved in FFA.

With a strong love of horses, she publishes the MFBF Equine Directory and established the Equine Boosters of MSU Top of the West Sale, which proceeds are helping to support MSU's equine program.

Lake hails from a family ag business, Lake Seed Inc., providing  potato and grain seeds. He launched a  pathogen-free potato tissue culture lab as one of the first operations of this type on a Montana farm.

The Lake Glacier View Farm is a certified seed  cleaning and treating facility which received the National Small Business of the Year Award in 1997 from the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. He serves on the MSU President's Advisory Council.

Owen, who raises wheat, barley and specialty crops, chairs the CHS Government Relations Committee, and is known as a dedicated cooperative exponent. He received the Cooperative Leadership Award from the Montana Farmers Union in 2005.

He serves on the MSU College of Agriculture Academic Advisory Committee.

The recipients have many more attributes cited by the award panel. Go to  to learn more and view pictures of the winners.

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