District 16 Senator Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls was recently awarded the 2019 distinguished alumni award from the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS).

“I am humbled and honored to receive the distinguished alumni award, and I thank those who nominated me,” said Dahms. “I feel there are several things we must do to keep rural Minnesota strong and viable. We need to create a business environment that attracts new businesses and encourages research and development, job growth and business expansion. Our students need education that is cutting edge and allows global economy success. We must also support today’s agriculture of innovation and diversification.”

Dahms was selected to receive the award based on his significant contributions to his legislative profession, his leadership position in the community and his demonstrated commitment to building a greater CFANS community.

Award nominations were received from students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the college, and award recipients were selected by a committee of 12 alumni, undergraduate students, graduate students, and staff of CFANS.

In nominating Sen. Dahms, they wrote, “State Senator and CFANS alumnus Gary Dahms leads in a thoughtful and impactful manner. He works tirelessly to advocate for rural Minnesota, highlighting agricultural issues and educating the workforce on policy and citizen needs. “Senator Dahms is a strong advocate for agricultural education and has been a longtime supporter of FFA. Over his career, he has made countless contributions to CFANS. One of his largest contributions has been his service as a member of the Minnesota Agri-cultural Education Leadership council. His knowledge of rural needs and agricultural challenges is invaluable in guiding the council’s work. Serving on the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), Senator Dahms has been very instrumental in securing funds for several research projects relating to agriculture, invasive species, and pollinators.”