2019 Grand President's Award Winners
In February 2019, four extraordinary Brothers were selected to receive the 2019 Alpha Gamma Rho Grand President's Award. Administered and nominated by a selection committee, the Grand President's Award is given to outstanding Fraternity alumni, age 40 or younger, who have achieved remarkable success in their professional careers and made great contributions to agriculture and Alpha Gamma Rho. The award demonstrates an honorable acknowledgment of the recipient's exceptional brotherhood, leadership, professionalism and knowledge of his industry.
Brant Bigger, Brad Garrision, Matt Norman, and Dale Winger were honored with the award at the four 2019 Leadership Seminars in Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, and Richmond. Each recipient spoke of the great opportunities out there for Alpha Gamma Rho members and the lessons that can be learned throughout their undergraduate years and beyond.
Brant Bigger was raised on dairy farm near Frazee, MN. He attended North Dakota State University where he was initiated into Epsilon Chapter in the fall of 1996. During his time at NDSU, Bigger served as Epsilon's VRN Membership Development and VNR Recruitment. He also served in various leadership roles in numerous other campus organizations. In 2000, Brant graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology and continued his education at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he graduated with a Master of Science in Horticulture. While in graduate school he was inducted into Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society and received the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Graduate Student Research Award and Fellowship.
Brant began his career with the USDA – Agricultural Research Service in Lincoln in 2002 as a laboratory technician. Since 2004 he has been employed with ARS in Fargo, ND where he manages a multidisciplinary plant molecular biology and biochemistry lab. Brant has earned the Outstanding Service as a Support Scientist and the President's Volunteer Service Awards.
Mr. Bigger has served on the Epsilon Chapter Alumni Board since 2004 and served as President for 11 years. During that time, he led a $2+ million capital campaign for chapter house renovations and established a scholarship endowment. Brant has also participated in the Alpha Gamma Rho National Housing Resource Trust Task Force, National Housing Symposium, National Advisor Forum.
Within his local community, he serves on his parish's Pastoral & Finance Council, is a director of his county's fair board, coaches his children's youth sports teams, and is a local 4-H leader. He was selected to participate in the prestigious Emerging Leader Program with his spouse. The program creates and sustains a network of community leaders in Northwest and West Central Minnesota.
Brant has been married to his high school sweetheart, Tami for 18 years. Together they have three children; Hailey, Blake, and Hannah. They live in rural Lake Park, MN.
Originally from Easley, South Carolina, Bradley (Brad) A. Garrison is a December 2000 graduate of Mississippi State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Management. Although he did not plan on joining a fraternity, and even opposed the idea, Alpha Gamma Rho took an interest in him and successfully recruited him to be initiated by the Beta Tau Chapter on April 10, 1997. As a member of the Undergraduate Chapter, Brad served in several leadership roles including VNR-Membership Development and Noble Ruler.
Upon graduation from Mississippi State, Brad served as a Project Manager for Lambert's Landscape Company of Dallas, Texas, where he managed high-end residential landscape construction for four years before redirecting his career to former Dallas-based Texas Industries, Inc. (TXI). At TXI, Brad had sales responsibilities in the sports field and horticulture markets with primary focus on the Diamond Pro® Professional Groundskeeping Products line.
Beginning in 2007, and while employed with TXI, Brad served Alpha Gamma Rho as an alumnus volunteer including two years (2008 and 2009) as a Leadership Seminar Facilitator, three years as Leadership Seminar Coordinator, and three years as Co-Adviser to the Iota Chapter (Wisconsin-Madison) before joining Alpha Gamma Rho Home Office staff as Director of Development in January 2013. As Director of Development and ultimately Chief Development Officer to which he was promoted in November 2017, Brad led and coordinated alumni development and fundraising efforts on behalf of The Educational Foundation of Alpha Gamma Rho including the AGRconnect Capital Campaign, record-breaking and award-winning annual Loyalty Fund for AGR campaigns, along with numerous other fundraising efforts related to scholarship and chapter housing funds. During his time on AGR staff, Brad was also actively involved with the Foundation of Fraternal Excellence, formerly NICF, annually attending THE Foundations Seminar and the Institute for Greek Advancement as well as serving on the Seminar Planning Committee for three years, ultimately chairing the 2018 seminar.
Following his departure from AGR staff in May 2018, Brad was recruited by Donald De Jong, a Chi Chapter, Cal Poly alumnus and Director on The Educational Foundation of Alpha Gamma Rho Board of Directors, to join AgriVision Farm Management's Executive Team as Director of Special Projects in June 2018. In this newly created role, Brad is specifically focused on integrating new technology, Sedron Agriculture's Varcor Processor, designed to revolutionize waste management practices for animal agriculture. Sedron Ag's Varcor Processor Unit 1 is being installed at a Natural Prairie Dairy site in Hartley, Texas, with plans for a second unit on a proposed Natural Prairie Dairy site in Newton County, Indiana, to further prove the concept. Upon successfully proving the Varcor Processor concept at these initial Natural Prairie Dairy sites, Brad will transition to a Sedron Agriculture business development role to deliver the Varcor Processor to market so that other farms will have access to this incredible technology.
Throughout his career, Brad has been actively involved with Dallas, Nashville, and Kansas City chapters of the Mississippi State University Alumni Association. Upon recent relocation back to Texas, Brad was elected to fill the State of Texas Director board position vacancy on the Mississippi State University National Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Besides Alpha Gamma Rho and Mississippi State, Brad has also served the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City on its Board of Directors and the American Royal Association as it's Chairman's Club Engagement/Governorship Chair and World Series of Barbeque® Operations Committee Chairman.
Brad has enjoyed personally and/or professionally traveling to all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and South Korea. He is a Kansas City Barbeque Society member and Certified Barbeque Judge. When he's not traveling or eating barbeque, Brad enjoys hunting with his 9-year-old black Labrador Retriever, CJ, attending sporting events (especially Mississippi State athletics), running, biking, and he's proud of becoming an Ironman Finisher at the 2014 Ironman Wisconsin triathlon. Of all his positions and accomplishments, Brad is most proud of being "Uncle Brad" to Caden and Walker Garrison, his 4-year-old twin nephews, to whom he dedicates a large amount of time and money attempting to convert from Clemson Tigers to Mississippi State Bulldogs fans.
Matt Norman was raised on a diversified farm near Washington, IA. He attended Iowa State University where he was initiated into Eta Chapter in 1997. During his time at Iowa State, Matt served as VNR of Scholarship as well as Noble Ruler at Eta. Matt was also involved in many on campus activities such as Homecoming Central, Greek Week Central, VEISHEA Exec, and Interfraternity Council. In 2001 he graduated with a BS in Agronomy.
Upon graduation, Matt spent the next 5 years working for Elanco Animal Health beginning in their swine sales team and then moving into marketing/sales roles in the dairy business. Following that, he made the choice to join his family in their farming operation beginning as the business manager in 2007. In 2010 he took over the role as CEO. The farming enterprise consists of corn and soybean production along with contract swine finishing and manure application businesses. The farm annually pursues high school and college age students for interns to help educate students on production agriculture. The business also actively participates in the farming peer group MFAC to help stay on the cutting edge of business and production.
Currently Matt is serving as the President of Eta Chapter Alumni Board. Matt and his wife Kendra are Order of the Knoll members at Iowa State. He is active in his church, Mt. Olivet, as well as helping Kendra with their 3 boys (Ryker, Xander, Zane).
Dale Winger is Vice President of Halliburton's Specialty Chemicals business, which provides stimulation, production, midstream, and downstream chemicals to the oil & gas industry. He has full strategic, financial, operational, and people responsibility for the business, which includes leadership of 1,000 employees and 60 locations globally. Dale previously served as Halliburton's Senior Director of Strategy.
Prior to joining Halliburton, Dale worked for the Dow Chemical Company for 13 years in a variety of commercial, financial, and management roles. His first seven years with Dow were in the Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences business where Dale worked in urban pest management, marketing research, and new product development roles in specialty crop insecticides and wheat herbicides.
Dale holds a Bachelor's of Science from Purdue University in Agricultural Economics and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Dale was initiated into Alpha Gamma Rho's Delta Chapter in 1997, and lived in the chapter house for all four years at Purdue. He currently lives in The Woodlands, TX with his wife and three children. He enjoys time with his family, running, and coaching youth baseball and basketball.
Grand President's Award Winners
Taylor Brown, Montana State
Mike Jackson, Purdue
Jay Vroom, Illinois
Jim Zarndt, Wisconsin-Madison
Jack Kaltenberg, Wisconsin-Madison
Dwight Seegmiller, Iowa State
Walt Whitcomb, Maine
Sam Brownback, Kansas State
John DeRuiter, Cal Poly State-SLO
Frank Moore, Tennessee-Knoxville
David Buckman, Missouri
John C. Cottingham, Purdue
Frederick McClure, Texas A&M
Ole Meland, Cal Poly State-SLO
Tom Davis, Purdue
Scott Moffitt, Kentucky
William C. Schilling, Nebraska
Jerry Weller, Illinois
Terry Bass, North Carolina State
C. James Bode, Oklahoma State
William C. Miller, Kentucky
Jay S. Poole, Virginia Tech
Charles "Chuck" Clemons Sr., Florida
Dave Parker, Purdue
Paul Schulte, Oklahoma State
David L. Bracht, Nebraska
Ed Jernigan, Middle Tennessee State
Ted A. McKinney, Purdue
Michael Bret Thurmond, Georgia
Jay L. Ewald, Minnesota
Brose A. McVey, Purdue
Brian Moeller, Illinois
Tony D. Williams, Texas Tech
Steven L. Stice, Illinois
Jeffrey L. Warner, Western Illinois
Kraig Wagenecht, Western Illinois
Randall Little, New Mexico State
Charles Woodside, Nebraska
Dave E. Anderson, Kansas State
William Carriere, California-Davis
Timothy Minert, Nebraska
David A. Rold, Illinois
Jeffrey D. Adkisson, CAE, Western Illinois
Russ Galle, Kansas State
Charles Hall, Tennessee-Knoxville
Rick Nagel, Purdue
Merle G. Flowers, Auburn
Doug Griffin, Purdue
David B. Reis, Illinois
Daren Coppock, OregonState
Doug Eckrote, Purdue
Anthony Haynes, Tennessee-Martin
David McDonald, Iowa State
Bryce Kelly Sr., Florida
John L. Kruse, South Dakota State
Paul Weubbe, Cal Poly State-SLO
Wayne Worthley, Minnesota
Paul Boettcher, Wisconsin-Madison
Todd D. Johnson, Kansas State
Shane C. Kitchen, Mississippi State
Kevin Ochsner, Colorado State
Tracey Binkley, Tennessee-Knoxville
Rich Engel, California-Davis
Corey Geiger, Wisconsin-Madison
Bill Hayen, Missouri
Michael Gomes, Cal Poly State-SLO
Grady Roberts, Florida
Michael Wainscott, Kentucky
Thomas White, Tennessee-Knoxville
Daniel Foor, Iowa State
Allen Lambright, East Texas State University
Michael Revelle, Tennessee-Martin
Jim Zumwalt, Illinois
Raymond Hodge, Florida
John Latham, Iowa State
Tom Lilja, North Dakota State
Glenn Poxleitner, Idaho
Michael Bosco, Tarleton State
John Demerly, Purdue
Steve Hanson, Iowa State
Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma State
Cody Lane, Tarleton State
Devin Nunes, Cal Poly
Adam Putnam, Florida
Jeffrey Rowe, Iowa State
Matt Fanta, Wisconsin-River Falls
Jerry Gilliam, Murray State
Marc Paulson, Minnesota
Peter Tomlinson, Connecticut
Lynn Becker, Minnesota
C. Elliott Marsh, Jr., Georgia
Jesse Singerhouse, Wisconsin-River Falls
Jerrod Westfahl, Kansas State
Chad Dummermuth, Iowa State
Joe Kelsay, Purdue
Thad Koenigsfeld, MIssouri
Adam Manwarren, Minnesota
Jason Grady, Kansas State
Sam Watson, Georgia
Will Wittler, Nebraska
Jeremy Zweiacker, Oklahoma
Garrett Hawkins, Missouri State
Jason Hart, Clemson
Kevin Heikes, Colorado State
Eric Halverson, North Dakota State