UW research center’s mission reflects Jim Hageman’s innovation, family members say | TSLN.com

UW research center’s mission reflects Jim Hageman’s innovation, family members say

Aaron Nelson

The innovative thinking of Jim Hageman is reflected in the University of Wyoming research and extension center named in his honor, said his son, Hugh, at the facility’s naming ceremony.

More than 175 people attended the festivities Aug. 30 at the James. C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) near Lingle, WY, including many members of the Hageman family.

“Jim would never have expected this,” said his wife, Marion. “Our family will cherish this a long, long time.”

The family is honored to have the research center named after their father, Hugh Hageman said. “We know it is fitting because of all the work he did in the Legislature to enhance agriculture and education, but we also think it is fitting because of the kind of man he was.”

Hageman, who died in August 2006, was a longtime rancher, a proponent of education, a state representative and a UW alumnus. He received an honorary doctorate from UW during May 2006 commencement ceremonies.

“Jim Hageman was a Wyoming archetype: a plainspoken rancher who dedicated his life and career to the future of Wyoming,” said Tom Buchanan, UW president, in his address. “And Jim believed in the importance of the University of Wyoming to that future. We shared common commitments: to the education of Wyoming’s youths, to the tradition of agriculture and to service to the state.”

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Hageman was vitally involved in UW’s William D. Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources and College of Agriculture. “His voice was prominent in legislation supporting SAREC,” said Buchanan.

SAREC includes 1,522 acres of dry land cropland, 349 acres of irrigated cropland, 1,880 acres of rangeland, 19 acres of irrigated organic cropland and 40 acres of dry land organic cropland.

Hageman had a deeper passion for agriculture than you would ever find in anyone, said his son. “Agriculture is what made the state,” he said, “and he believed in making it strong and viable for future generations.”

Hugh Hageman said his father was innovative, learning as he met each challenge. He utilized artificial insemination before many others. His father obtained a reproductive organ from Kelly Packing Co. in Torrington and was shown how to AI on the tailgate of a pickup. “They had to use the headlights from another pickup as it was after dark,” he said.

He bought another place and with that came water rights, irrigation, clearing and leveling land, digging ditches and putting in gated pipe and center pivots. His father initially used a square baler. “He made about 50 bales and said ‘there’s got to be a better way,'” said Hugh Hageman. That afternoon he returned with a round baler.

“He’d never seen one before but he knew that was a better way,” he said. “This innovative thinking is what this research center is all about. This research center belongs to all of you.”

Buchanan said he believes what would have pleased Hageman more than anything is that SAREC keeps growing. Planning is underway for new dormitories for graduate students and faculty members who will conduct research at the site, and a new laboratory.

The wet lab and dormitory facilities were made available through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development money acquired by Wyoming’s congressional delegation and an appropriation from the state Legislature.

On the Web: http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/uwexpstn/SAREC.asp