September 25-26, 2003
ITEM 120-2001-R0903 Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Animal and Range Sciences upon Gene Surber; Montana State University-Bozeman
THAT: Upon the occasion of the retirement of Gene Surber from Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for his service to the University, the Montana University System and the people of the State of Montana.
EXPLANATION: Gene Surber received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Montana State University in 1970 and 1972. He began his career with Montana State University as the Park County Extension Agent in 1972. From 1974-1994 Mr. Surber was Extension Agriculture Agent in Gallatin County. During this time he served as County Agent Chairman and Extension Coordinator of the Hydrologic Unit area. Gene has served on the Park County Planning Board and the City-County Planning Board of Livingston. He was chairman of the Montana High School Rodeo and has served on the Southwestern Montana Weed District Council, the Gallatin County Weed Board and the State Dairy Herd Improvement Association Board.
In 1994 Gene Surber was recognized by the National Association of County Agriculture Agents with the Distinguished Service Award. The Gallatin Beef Producers selected him as Outstanding Agriculturist in 1990. Lions Clubs International selected Gene Surber as the prestigious
”Melvin Jones Fellow” in 1988.
Since 1994 Mr. Surber has been the Extension Natural Resource Specialist in the Animal and Range Sciences Department. In this position, Gene has developed, coordinated and conducted educational programs addressing issues facing agriculture in Montana. He developed several programs to enhance wise, proactive, sustainable stewardship of Montana rangelands and natural resources. His leadership in the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) has enhanced grazed land management on 155 ranches in 45 counties. In part because of the success of his GLCI Program, Gene received the Montana Silver Buffalo Award in 1994. This prestigious award honors the outstanding “Extension Worker of the Year.”
Since 1995 Gene Surber has conducted the annual four-day Range School for agricultural lenders and farmland appraisers. Gene has designed and implemented the Western Integrated Ranch/Farm Education (WIRE) Program in Montana and has implemented an Environmental Management Self-Assessment program to allow producers to document environmental sustainability of their operation.
Gene Surber has authored over 25 Extension publications and developed three distance education courses. Many of his programs and ideas are now used in other states. He served on the Montana Watershed Coordinating Council, the Montana Voluntary Water Quality Monitoring Task Force, the Montana GLCI State Steering Committee and the Montana Governor’s Range Committee.
For these and other contributions, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer upon Gene Surber the rank of Professor Emeritus of Animal and Range Sciences at Montana State University and wishes him well for many years in the future.