Meet the Member Jerry Hawkes

by Rodeo News

story by by Don Reichert

Jerry and his wife, Luz, live on a ridge east of Casper, Wyoming where Jerry says, “To fly a kite you need a lead rope to keep it in one spot. Meeteetse, Wyoming was the first place I kind of remember. Dad, a University of Arizona graduate, was with the Forest Service and they moved people around. Then down to Escalante, Utah and back to Afton, Wyoming where I graduated from Star Valley High School. I grew up with livestock and ranching. We always had a set of beef cows and grew forage crops, mostly alfalfa. Always had a set of horses and team roped a lot and got on a lot of bareback horses. I had a ball. There are so many great people and families that rodeo. It is truly a community.” Jerry has always been impressed with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association champions and other PRCA contestants that have and continue giving back to college rodeo as coaches and putting on clinics….Lewis Field, Ned Londo, Luke Branquinho, Robert Etbauer, and Craig Latham to name a few.
Jerry says his dad was the biggest influence on his life while growing up. Faith and family were the things his dad drove home without ever saying much but living by example. Jerry went to New Mexico State University at Las Cruces because his dad knew a couple of professors there and they had an economics program that interested him. Jim Libbon, Lowell Catlett, and Chris Alison at NMSU influenced him professionally. In 1992 Jerry received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, in 1993 his Master of Science in Agricultural Economics and Economics, and in 2004 his Doctor of Philosophy in Range Science, Emphasis in Economics all at NMSU.
Jerry served at NMSU as Interim Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs from 2015-2018 in the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Department Head, Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources 2013-2018, and was a faculty member in Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business 1994-2018. He is currently Dean of the School of Science at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming.
Of the 20 achievement awards Jerry received while at NMSU, the most important award he won was the Donald R. Rousch Teaching Excellence Award in 2005 and 2010. The award winner is selected by the students. Jerry said, “When the students feel okay about you, that is important to me. Then it says you are serving them and their families like you hope to.” Jerry was the author or co-author of over 60 journal publications during his years at NMSU.
Jerry wanted to get back to Wyoming and a great opportunity at Casper College allowed him to do that. He is having a lot of fun and is surrounded with a lot of intelligent people sharing ideas and growing enrollment by about 12%. “I’ve always been involved with the rodeo team wherever I’ve been. Advised the rodeo team for about 25 years at NMSU and am involved at Casper. The president and board of trustees at Casper are very supportive of rodeo. We recently began using a newly constructed $3 million practice facility. The building was constructed mostly with college and state funds. This just shows the dedication from the state legislative body, to the governor’s office, and to our president’s office.”
Jerry went on to say, “When we are looking at the student rodeo athletes, they are some of the best and brightest around. We can really be proud of those young women and men and the coaches and faculty members helping them to succeed and get down the road. It’s really exciting to see some of those students go on to have such success at the college and professional level. Most importantly to see the value they have added to their families with a college degree. Then there is the scholarship support given to the young people to get them to move forward and go to school and get to do the things they love to do while getting an education. College rodeo is one of the greater things going in higher education,”
You have an opportunity to join other college rodeo alumni at the annual reunion to be held on June 18 and 19, 2021 at the Ramkota Inn in Casper, Wyoming during the College National Finals Rodeo.

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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