A Montezuma County rancher and agriculture consultant received the Southwest Colorado Livestock Association’s Distinguished Service award on Saturday.
Unlike the Stockman and Cowbelle of the Year titles, the award is not given out annually, but only on occasions when the Association wants to honor someone for “outstanding service to the livestock industry,” according to Drew Gordanier, who presented the award. The last Distinguished Service Award in Montezuma County was presented to Phyllis Snyder in 2014. This year, the honor went to Bob Bragg, a former Montezuma-Cortez High School agriculture teacher, founder of the Four States Ag Expo and frequent guest on KSJD Radio.
Although Gordanier listed the many agriculture-related accomplishments on Bragg’s resume while presenting the award, he particularly emphasized the former teacher’s sense of humor and passion for education.
“This guy is always ready to help anybody, anywhere, anytime,” he said. “It’s my honor to present the Distinguished Service Award for dedication and contributions to our former ag teacher.”
Bragg has lived and farmed in Montezuma County since 1976, when he moved there from Michigan for his job as a military intelligence investigator. Since then, he has had a long and varied career in agriculture education. In addition to his job at the high school, Bragg served on the Colorado Ag Teachers Fairs and Shows Committee, the Colorado Ag Teachers Advisory Committee and the Young Farmers Organization in Cortez and Mancos. He also taught several adult classes through San Juan Basin Area Technical School and Colorado State University, and helped start the Ag Expo, which will be held this year for the 35th time.
Now Bragg hosts agriculture programs on KSJD and works on multiple committees dealing with water issues in Southwest Colorado. He and his wife of 21 years live on a small farm on County Road L. They have a total of six children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He thanked the Livestock Association for the award, which he said came as a complete surprise to him.
“It really surprises and humbles me to have this recognition,” he said. “I have learned a whole lot from many of you folks that are in this room, and it’s just been my privilege to have something to do with their lives and occupations.”
Bragg was honored, along with the Stockman and Cowbelle of the Year, during the dinner that came at the end of the Livestock Association’s annual meeting. About 340 Southwest Colorado ranchers and members of the livestock industry attended.