Sharp Recognized for Leadership, Accomplishments with Award

Rod Sharp, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension agriculture and business management economist for Colorado’s Western region, received an award Sept. 26 for his exceptional accomplishments and leadership with Cooperative Extension. The award was given at the annual Cooperative Extension banquet in Fort Collins.

The Alton Scofield Distinguished Service Award recognizes off-campus members of the Colorado State Cooperative Extension family for dedication and contributions to the organization and to the community he serves.

"Rod continues to provide exemplary commitment to his work with Cooperative Extension," said Milan Rewerts, Colorado State Cooperative Extension director. "Rod deserves to be recognized for that dedication, his credibility and the trust and respect he earns from colleagues and clientele with his sound contributions to his community."

An example of Sharp’s contributions includes his response to the 1980s agriculture crisis when he mobilized a team that provided workshops around the state for farmers and ranchers. The workshops provided producers with financial evaluation methods and skills, helped producers identify the financial strengths and weaknesses of their businesses and taught them how to analyze alternative production, marketing and financial plans. At the time, the personal computer was just being introduced; before the, all financial statements and analysis were calculated by hand, a difficult and time-consuming process. Sharp lead a team that reviewed

several financial analysis software programs, made several programming improvements and trained Cooperative Extension agents, producers, agricultural lenders and other agribusiness professionals to use the software.

Sharp’s recent accomplishments include guidance to the Colorado Value Added State Initiative by acting as chairman. This group’s accomplishments include the development of "New Gates Through Old Fences" workshops, development of professional teams in four states, a resource library and publications. Colorado is known throughout the country as a leader in value-added education because of these programs.

Other contributions include working with 30 to 40 farmers and ranchers going through Chapter 12 bankruptcy and helping them reorganize their businesses, most of which are still in business today as a result of this effort. Sharp also helps hundreds of producers and small-business owner clientele with financial management and analysis, investment analysis and risk management through educational trainings.

Previous recognitions of Sharp’s accomplishments include receiving Mid-Career Award from the Cooperative Extension fraternity Epsilon Sigma Phi; the Cooperative Extension team awards two times; the Western District Innovative Program Award; the Cooperative Extension Sustained Superior Performance Award; and the Western District Team Award for 4-H family financial management.