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2020 Colorado Livestock Association Top Choice Award Honoree

Colorado agriculture leader Mark Sponsler receives Colorado Livestock Association’s highest honor

At a virtual meeting of the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) Board of Directors Mark Sponsler was presented with the 2020 Top Choice Award. The Top Choice Award is given by CLA to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving livestock agriculture in Colorado. Past honorees have come from all walks of life, but the common thread is that they embody a deep-rooted belief in the importance of agriculture to the future of this state, the country, and the world.

“This year’s award was inscribed with the words An Advocate and a Friend of Our Industry. This is the perfect description of Mark and his partnership livestock producers. In his position as the executive of the Colorado Corn Grower’s he spent countless hours and committed financial support on a variety of issues impacting agriculture producers,” said Justin Miller, CLA board member. “Mark really understands that agriculture is a small industry and it takes all of us sticking together to help support each other.”

“I remember that when I took the job at Corn I felt like it was critical time for us to be building relationships between agriculture industries because it looked like we had a lot of challenges ahead of us. What we have accomplished over the last 16 years would not have happened without the commitment of your leadership and staff,” stated Mark Sponsler. “I believe that the work that we have done together is some of the most important work that Association’s like ours can undertake. Whether its building relationships within industry or regulatory agencies you all have been successful, and I am honored to be a small part of it and honored to be recognized.”

About Mark Sponsler

Mark Sponsler served as executive for the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee and the Colorado Corn Growers Association from 2006 to early 2020.  In that capacity, Mark managed staff for the two organizations along with research, market development, education, promotion, policy, and communications efforts and programs.  He has over 30 years of career experience in Colorado crop production issues related to management of nutrients, irrigation, soil health, crop protection, and Precision-Ag technology; working as a certified crop advisor, project manager, agricultural advocate, professional meeting attender, and association executive.

A few of Mark’s experiences include: serving on the National Ag Industry Council; as past Chairman of the Colorado Ag Council; and as the Agronomic Services Director for Colorado Corn, from 2003 – 2006.  Mark launched and managed a precision agriculture technology subsidiary for Colorado Corn Growers.

Mark has worked directly with hundreds of irrigated farmers across many of Colorado’s watersheds, and has served on numerous committees and panels related to agricultural nutrient management related to water and air quality. Mark worked as an agronomist and barley contractor for Coors Brewing Company from 1994 – 2003, and as a crop consultant, project manager, fertilizer and crop protection application specialist for Centennial Ag Supply from 1981 – 1994. Mark grew up in Iowa and is a graduate of Iowa State University of Science and Technology.

Colorado Livestock Association Top Choice Award Recipients

F.M. “Pete” Peterson

Paul Andre

Tim Weigand

Cecil Hellbusch

George Spencer

Bart Nyberg

Chuck Muller

Frank Kemp

H.L. “Jay” Rowe

Joe Tennessen

Dr. Rue Jensen

Ben Houston

Tom Ferrell

C.W. “Bill” McMillan

Kenneth Monfort

Evan Slack

Champ Gross

W.D. Farr

Forrest Bassford

Fred Anderson

A.R. “Bud” Middaugh

Neil Skau

Lynn Heinze

Leroy Dalton

Willard Simms

Dr. John Matsushima

John Holtorf, Sr.

Carl Carlson

Carl “Bev” Bledsoe

Dr. Duane Flack

Chuck Sylvester

Roger Berglund

Hank Brown

Dr. Gary Smith

Dr. Daryl Tatum

Ray Powers

Dr. Daryl Tatum

Don Ament

Tom Camerlo

Dr. Jim Heird

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell

Marshall Frasier

William “Bill” Wailes, Jr.

Terry Stokes

John Stulp

Dr. Temple Grandin

Phyllis Woodford

Dr. Tony Frank

Dr. William “Brock” Faulkner

Don Brown

Dr. Ajay Menon

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