In 1956, Wanda Redmond traveled to Japan to exchange information about nutrition, home economics and agriculture with Japanese farmers.
She was one of the first American women the rural farmers had seen.
The experience is among the many ways Redmond has worked to promote agricultural awareness through education while at the same time providing a role model for women in the farming and ranching industry.
The Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. honored Redmond's achievements and longtime community service in the Yampa Valley with the 2005 Hazie Werner Award for Excellence.
The Community Agriculture Alliance nominated Redmond for the award, presented to her Saturday at the resort's 23rd annual Snowball.
"She very honestly represents agriculture and the values so many of us hold dear in the agriculture world," Marsha Daughenbaugh, executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance, said last week.
Redmond is the 17th recipient of the award, named for Hazie Werner, a local legend who volunteered for organizations throughout the Yampa Valley. Other recipients include Geneva Taylor, Carol Schaffer, Gloria Gossard, Jayne Hill, Elaine Gay, Millie Beall and Arianthe Stettner.
Redmond, who lives in the Yampa area, said the award recognizes her work and also Routt County's agricultural heritage and its continued importance in the changing economy.
"I appreciate the fact I have a chance to represent South Routt County in this position," Redmond said. "There are a lot of longtime ranching families in South Routt who have depended upon and contributed to the community of Steamboat Springs."
Redmond settled in the Yampa area with her brother and parents in the 1940s, learning values of hard work as the family raised spinach and lettuce.
After graduating from Yampa Union High School, Redmond attended Colorado A&M -- now Colorado State University -- where she studied nutrition.
She worked as an extension agent in Elbert County before heading to Colusa County, Calif., where she served as home economics agent for the California State University Extension Service.
During her 10 years there, she taught home demonstration clubs and 4-H groups about the importance of nutrition, food preservation and home business management.
In 1960, through a 4-H scholarship, Redmond spent time in Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist for agriculture and nutrition issues.
"She really is an inspiration for women," Daughenbaugh said. "The things she did in the 1950s and '60s took a lot of guts and really paved the way for us to be clear thinkers and have a positive impact. That's one of the reasons I admire her so much."
Redmond's six-month trip to Japan as an agriculture ambassador is among the most memorable of her experiences, she said.
"The experience of going to Japan ... is an example of what I try to emphasize to young people -- to take every opportunity to get out into the world when they finish high school and college," she said. "It's important to have perspective outside your home community."
In 1962, Wanda returned to South Routt, settling at the Redmond Ranch at the base of the Flat Tops with husband Jack Redmond. The couple raised their three children, Jim, Julie and John, at the ranch.
Wanda Redmond's 50 years of community service include working as a judge and teacher for regional 4-H programs and teaching at the Soroco School District and Colorado Northwest Community College.
She also has served on boards of directors with Historic Routt County, Community Agriculture Alliance, Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Routt County Purchase of Development Rights and other organizations.
Wanda Redmond rides her horses almost daily during summers. She and Jack continue running cattle, sheep and hay operations at their ranch, which recently was listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Places.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com