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Three Community Leaders Honored at NMSU Awards Day

LAS CRUCES - Three community leaders were honored for their contributions to the agricultural industry April 19 by New Mexico State University's College of Agriculture and Home Economics.


Frank DuBois, secretary/director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, received the Outstanding Leadership Award. Phil and Yetta Bidegain, T4 Cattle Company managers, received the Phillip J. Leyendecker Agriculturist of Distinction Award.

Jerry Schickedanz, the college's dean and chief administrative officer, presented the awards.

DuBois serves on the governor's cabinet, representing agriculture and serving as a liaison between producers and state and federal government. He supervises 120 employees located throughout the state and oversees the department's responsibilities for 33 state laws that provide producer and consumer service and protection.

DuBois comes from a ranching family near Corona. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from NMSU in agricultural and extension education. He has taught classes on public lands policy at NMSU and written several publications. Dubois created the first permanent scholarship program for rodeo athletes at NMSU.

DuBois has served as a legislative assistant to Senator Pete Domenici and deputy assistant secretary for land and water resources with the U.S. Department of Interior. He is a past president of the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association and the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

The Bidegains have supported the college's students, research and Extension work for decades as scholarship donors and research cooperators. Since 1957, more than 70 NMSU students have benefitted from the T4 Cattle Company scholarships.

The Bidegains maintain a closed herd of Herefords, with a crossbreeding program that produces some of the country's best crossbred steers and replacement heifers. The T4 stretches from Tucumcari to Montoya to Conchas.

The Bidegains have been nominated for the National Cattlemen's Association Stewardship Award. They have invested in soil and water conservation and cooperated with scientists from the college on at least a dozen brush control demonstrations.

Phil Bidegain has been active in New Mexico Cattle Growers since 1948, serving on many committees and as state president. He was New Mexico's Cattleman of the Year in 1987 and CowBelles Father of the Year in 1982. He also is active in the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Yetta Bidegain has been active in New Mexico Cattle Growers and CowBelles. As an original board member, she was instrumental in getting the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum built. She serves on the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch advisory board and is involved with the Tucumcari Arts and Humanities board and Historical Society.