Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences this year honored Don Ament, Colorado commissioner of agriculture, as the Livestock Leader of the Year as part of the National Western Stock Show. Each year, the award recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to the state’s livestock industry.
Ament, whom Gov. Bill Owens appointed in January 1999, was presented the award Saturday evening at the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Social in Denver.
As commissioner, Ament is focused on helping Colorado residents understand the role agriculture plays in preserving the quality of life in the state. He is often found on the road, traveling across Colorado to talk to people about agriculture and broaden understanding of the vital industry. He is a water and property rights expert.
"Commissioner Ament’s strong leadership and advocacy for Colorado’s agricultural industry make him a highly deserving recipient of this award," said Dr. Daryl Tatum, head of the Department of Animal Sciences.
Prior to his post as commissioner of agriculture, Ament served the state in the Colorado legislature for 12 years, with eight years in the Senate and four in the House of Representatives. He served as chairman of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee; chairman of the Capital Development Committee; and as a member of the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and the Transportation Committee.
Nationally, Ament chaired the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Task Force on Agriculture.
Ament farms and ranches near Iliff. Some of his specific support to the livestock industry includes working with emerging and pressing issues faced by producers and other agricultural partners. For example, Ament worked with the Colorado Health Department to improve confined animal feeding operations and animal feeding operations regulations. He also works on growth initiatives in support of agriculture’s interests and is on a task force to address the safe rendering of animals.
Ament has served on the Colorado Livestock Association board of directors for two years.