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New Mexico State University

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NMSU's Dean Emeritus Jerry Schickedanz is first recipient of Evelyn Linebery Chair

Jerry Schickedanz said he was looking for an opportunity to get back to work in the field of range management after being retired for more than five years. The New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences dean emeritus found that opportunity when he was named the first recipient of the Evelyn Linebery Chair.

Indoor portrait shot of Jerry Schickedanz
Jerry Schickedanz will work to educate the public on natural resources issues as the first recipient of the Evelyn Linebery Chair. (NMSU photo)

Schickedanz will work closely with John Fowler, recipient of the previously established Tom Linebery Chair, to look at different demands on natural resources and find ways for the range and livestock industry to work together with the oil and gas industry in ways that are sensitive to the environment.

"I am really looking forward to being involved in a meaningful way on these natural resource issues," Schickedanz said.

Named after Evelyn Linebery, who, along with husband Tom, donated $2.7 million to the college, the purpose of the chair is to benefit research and education in range science and agricultural policy.

The Linebery's 2002 gift also established a Linebery Policy Center at NMSU.

"One of the goals of the Linebery Policy Center for Natural Resources is to promote the visibility of range livestock, forestry, oil and gas industries and educate and demonstrate the importance of those industries to the community and the environment," Schickedanz said.

The Tom Linebery Distinguished Chair also develops position papers, analyzes major federal actions, enhances student education and training, and evaluates the economic impact of policies on affected industries. The Evelyn Linebery Chair provides funds for both human and material resources to support the Tom Linebery Chair.

A professor of agricultural economics and agricultural business, Fowler has held the Tom Linebery Chair since 2003. He also serves as the distinguished chair of the Linebery Policy Center.

"Dr. Schickedanz was chosen for this new chair because he has a wealth of expertise in the field of federal lands. We need to tap that repository of knowledge," Fowler said.

Schickedanz said his background in range management and Fowler's expertise as a resource economist will complement each other as they work to educate the public on natural resources.

"Together, we want to raise awareness on the issues surrounding natural resource management," he said. "Hopefully, policymakers will look at the information we provide and make informed decisions."

Through the Tom Linebery Chair, NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service and the Range Improvement Task Force have already released information booklets on topics such as the reestablishment of the Mexican Gray Wolf, the legacy of agricultural property tax in New Mexico, and the economic implications and surface disturbance mitigation of oil and gas development on Otero Mesa.

Schickedanz served eight years as the dean of the College of ACES before retiring in 2005. He has 31 years experience working with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. He also is the founder of the Range Improvement Task Force.