Grand President’s Award

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. Chosen 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
Brant Bigger

Brant Bigger

A bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from North Dakota State University followed by a master’s in horticulture from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln started Brant Bigger’s career in agricultural research. He received this year’s Grand President’s Award at the Leadership Seminar in Salt Lake City. He is among those who have been highly involved in AGR as an undergraduate and an alumnus. “Many alumni are passionate about our Fraternity and make significant gifts of time, talent and treasure to AGR and have made significant contributions to the agriculture industry,” says Bigger. “I am humbled to receive this award. AGR provided many opportunities for me as an undergraduate and continues to benefit me personally and professionally.” Bigger’s AGR involvement began with the Epsilon Chapter at NDSU. He served on its Alumni Board for 11 years. During that time, he led a capital campaign raising more than $2 million for chapter house renovations and a scholarship endowment. He also has participated in the AGR Housing Resources Trust Task Force, National Housing Symposium and Adviser Forum. Bigger worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research Service (ARS) in Lincoln, followed by a position with ARS in Fargo, North Dakota, managing a multidisciplinary plant molecular biology and biochemistry lab. He has earned awards for outstanding service as a support scientist and volunteer service. He lives in Lake Park, Minnesota, with his wife, Tami, and three children. Both he and Tami participate in the Emerging Leader Program for northwest and west central Minnesota.

Brad Garrison
Brad Garrison

Brad Garrison

Brad Garrison received the award during the Oklahoma City Leadership Seminar, continuing his involvement in AGR which began in 1997 at Beta Tau Chapter. There, he served as Vice Noble Ruler for Membership Development and Noble Ruler before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in landscape management. Garrison’s career began with Lambert’s Landscape Company of Dallas, Texas before joining Texas Industries with sales responsibilities in the sports field and horticulture markets. He became AGR’s Director of Development in 2013, becoming Chief Development Officer in 2017. Prior to joining the staff, he was the Leadership Seminar Coordinator and an Adviser to the Iota Chapter at Wisconsin-Madison. At AGR, he managed alumni development and fundraising efforts on behalf of The Educational Foundation including the AGRconnect Capital Campaign and record-breaking annual Loyalty Fund campaigns. “Since visiting the Home Office as a volunteer and throughout my time on staff, I’ve long admired the portraits of past award recipients and am proud to have formed relationships with many of them,” says Garrison. “Knowing their professional success and contributions to AGR, it’s an honor to join their ranks with this recognition.” In 2018, Garrison relocated to Texas and joined AgriVision Farm Management’s executive team to focus on integrating new technology designed to revolutionize waste management practices for animal agriculture. He is a certified BBQ judge, hunter, Ironman finisher and proud uncle.

Matt Norman
Matt Norman

Matt Norman

Growing up on a diversified farm near Washington, Iowa, led Matt Norman to Iowa State University and Eta Chapter in 1997 as he pursued a bachelor’s degree in agronomy. He served the chapter as Vice Noble Ruler of Scholarship and Noble Ruler and was involved with campus activities such as Homecoming Central and Interfraternity Council. Upon graduation in 2001, Matt worked for Elanco Animal Health, beginning with its swine sales team and moving into marketing/sales roles in the dairy business. In 2007, he chose to join his family in their farming operation, beginning as the business manager and becoming CEO in 2010. The farming enterprise includes corn and soybean production and contract swine finishing and manure application businesses. His return to the farm reinforced his opinion that college students should work elsewhere before returning to the farm. Norman’s family farm employs high school and college students as interns to educate them on production agriculture. The business also participates in a farming peer group to help stay on the cutting edge of business and production. In accepting the Grand President’s Award at the Leadership Seminar in Richmond, Virginia, Norman offered words of advice to the college students in attendance, including emphasis on using their time in college to get leadership experience in what he called a “safe” environment. “If you make a mistake now, the world doesn’t end,” he said. “Life will throw you challenges you don’t understand at age 21,” he added. “Leadership helps you get through.”

Dale Winger
Dale Winger

Dale Winger

As Vice President of Halliburton’s Specialty Chemicals business, Dale Winger has full strategic, financial, operational and human resource responsibility for the 1,000-employee, 60-location business. He received AGR’s Grand President’s Award at the Indianapolis Leadership Seminar. Winger graduated from Purdue University in agricultural economics and joined AGR’s Delta Chapter in 1997. Later, he earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and worked for Dow Chemical Company for 13 years in a variety of commercial, financial and management roles. His first seven years with Dow were in the company’s Agro-Sciences business, where he worked in urban pest management, marketing research and new product development. “People are almost always the most important part of success,” says Winger of his experience as an AGR brother and its impact on his career. “The chapter provides a great experience to learn how to build productive and rewarding relationships. Investing in authentic relationships with lots of people provides different perspectives, and this is very beneficial in large, complex leadership assignments because none of us have the ability to see every dimension of a problem.” He advises AGR members to get to know people. “Ask questions. Listen. Understand where people are coming from and what drives them. This builds trust and great relationships that will endure for years,” he adds. Winger lives with his wife and three children in The Woodlands, Texas.

Past Grand President’s Award Winners

1991
Taylor Brown, Montana State
Mike Jackson, Purdue
Jay Vroom, Illinois
Jim Zarndt, Wisconsin-Madison

1992
Jack Kaltenberg, Wisconsin-Madison
Dwight Seegmiller, Iowa State
Walt Whitcomb, Maine

1993
Sam Brownback, Kansas State
John DeRuiter, Cal Poly State-SLO
Frank Moore, Tennessee-Knoxville

1994
David Buckman, Missouri
John C. Cottingham, Purdue
Frederick McClure, Texas A&M
Ole Meland, Cal Poly State-SLO

1995
Tom Davis, Purdue
Scott Moffitt, Kentucky
William C. Schilling, Nebraska
Jerry Weller, Illinois

1996
Terry Bass, North Carolina State
C. James Bode, Oklahoma State
William C. Miller, Kentucky
Jay S. Poole, Virginia Tech

1997
Charles "Chuck" Clemons Sr., Florida
Dave Parker, Purdue
Paul Schulte, Oklahoma State

1998
David L. Bracht, Nebraska
Ed Jernigan, Middle Tennessee State
Ted A. McKinney, Purdue
Michael Bret Thurmond, Georgia

1999
Jay L. Ewald, Minnesota
Brose A. McVey, Purdue
Brian Moeller, Illinois
Tony D. Williams, Texas Tech

2000
Steven L. Stice, Illinois
Jeffrey L. Warner, Western Illinois

2001
Kraig Wagenecht, Western Illinois
Randall Little, New Mexico State
Charles Woodside, Nebraska

2002
Dave E. Anderson, Kansas State
William Carriere, California-Davis
Timothy Minert, Nebraska
David A. Rold, Illinois

2003
Jeffrey D. Adkisson, CAE, Western Illinois
Russ Galle, Kansas State
Charles Hall, Tennessee-Knoxville
Rick Nagel, Purdue

2004
Merle G. Flowers, Auburn
Doug Griffin, Purdue
David B. Reis, Illinois

2005
Daren Coppock, OregonState
Doug Eckrote, Purdue
Anthony Haynes, Tennessee-Martin
David McDonald, Iowa State

2006
Bryce Kelly Sr., Florida
John L. Kruse, South Dakota State
Paul Weubbe, Cal Poly State-SLO
Wayne Worthley, Minnesota

2007
Paul Boettcher, Wisconsin-Madison
Todd D. Johnson, Kansas State
Shane C. Kitchen, Mississippi State
Kevin Ochsner, Colorado State

2008
Tracey Binkley, Tennessee-Knoxville
Rich Engel, California-Davis
Corey Geiger, Wisconsin-Madison
Bill Hayen, Missouri

2009
Michael Gomes, Cal Poly State-SLO
Grady Roberts, Florida
Michael Wainscott, Kentucky
Thomas White, Tennessee-Knoxville

2010
Daniel Foor, Iowa State
Allen Lambright, East Texas State University
Michael Revelle, Tennessee-Martin
Jim Zumwalt, Illinois

2011
Raymond Hodge, Florida
John Latham, Iowa State
Tom Lilja, North Dakota State
Glenn Poxleitner, Idaho

2012
Michael Bosco, Tarleton State
John Demerly, Purdue
Steve Hanson, Iowa State
Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma State

2013
Cody Lane, Tarleton State
Devin Nunes, Cal Poly
Adam Putnam, Florida
Jeffrey Rowe, Iowa State

2014
Matt Fanta, Wisconsin-River Falls
Jerry Gilliam, Murray State
Marc Paulson, Minnesota
Peter Tomlinson, Connecticut

2015
Lynn Becker, Minnesota
C. Elliott Marsh, Jr., Georgia
Jesse Singerhouse, Wisconsin-River Falls
Jerrod Westfahl, Kansas State

2016
Chad Dummermuth, Iowa State
Joe Kelsay, Purdue
Thad Koenigsfeld, MIssouri
Adam Manwarren, Minnesota

2017 
Jason Grady, Kansas State
Sam Watson, Georgia 
Will Wittler, Nebraska  
Jeremy Zweiacker, Oklahoma State 

2018
Garrett Hawkins, Missouri State
Jason Hart, Clemson
Kevin Heikes, Colorado State
Eric Halverson, North Dakota State

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