Milan Rewerts, director of Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, today announced his retirement from the university, effective May 31, after more than 38 years serving the organization. Cooperative Extension is the university’s primary outreach and education branch, with offices in most Colorado counties.
"I want to thank Milan for the leadership he has provided over more than 38 years of service to Cooperative Extension and Colorado State University," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State. "He has been a visible and committed ambassador for the institution in communities across the state, and has dedicated himself to building a strong, responsive and relevant outreach program for the people of Colorado. He will be missed."
Penley added that Colorado State is dedicated to the future success of Cooperative Extension and to continually enhancing the agency’s ability to achieve the university’s land-grant mission of outreach and service to citizens throughout Colorado.
Rewerts began his career as a Cooperative Extension agent in Garfield County in Glenwood Springs, Colo. He was steadily promoted through the organization, and held positions including district director, field representative and personnel director before becoming director of Cooperative Extension 15 years ago.
"Cooperative Extension is fundamentally central to the land grant university, such as Colorado State, and has been for the last 90 years. Milan has always been wholly dedicated to Cooperative Extension, Colorado State and the people within his many positions in the organization including his leadership as director for more than 15 years," said Marc Johnson, vice provost for agriculture and outreach and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. "He has skillfully led the organization through some very challenging budgetary times and his efforts have gone a long way in making Cooperative Extension a premier outreach unit of the university."
Rewerts’ tenure has been marked by a focus on teamwork. He began a statewide initiative to strengthen the organization’s structure and function for 2000 and focused the organization on addressing critical issues affecting the state. The plan included expanding Cooperative Extension’s focus on local program needs, streamlining administration, enhancing the investment in technology and increasing effective communication between the organization and state leaders.
Throughout his career, Rewerts has served on several regional and national Cooperative Extension-related committees. He chaired the National Personnel and Organizational Development Committee of Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, the national policy body of Cooperative Extension, and the Western Regional Extension Directors. Rewerts has received numerous honors and recognition which include the Colorado State University Oliver C. Pennock Distinguished Service Faculty Award in 1989 and the F. A. Anderson Distinguished Service Faculty Award in 1982. He also received the Colorado State University Distinguished Administration Professional Award in 2000 and the National Distinguished Service Ruby Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, the national Extension Honorary Fraternity, in 2001. The Ruby Award is given annually by Epsilon Sigma Phi, the national Cooperative Extension professional fraternity, to a director of one of the nation’s Cooperative Extension programs. The award is the most prestigious award given by the organization.
Rewerts also served more than 29 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and retired at the rank of Colonel. He has twice received the Meritorious Service Medal – and he received the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal four times.
Rewerts has served on the board of directors of the Colorado 4-H Youth Fund, the steering committee of the Colorado Institute of Public Policy, as a member and past president of the University Club of Colorado State, a member and past president of Gamma Sigma Delta, a member of the Eaton Country Club, the National Western Stock Show Association and the Rotary Club of Fort Collins. He also serves as Colorado State University’s representative to the Colorado Rural Development Council and to the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Council.
An announcement announcing an interim director of Cooperative Extension will be made in the coming days.