Steamboat Springs Jay Whaley knew it wouldn't be easy to get Colorado State University Extension Director C.J. Mucklow to attend an annual awards banquet in Fort Collins, so he did what he had to.
"We lied to him," said Whaley, a CSU agent who works with Mucklow. "We told him the Colorado Land Trust was going to receive something and that he needed to be here to accept it, which wasn't true at all."
Instead, and much to Mucklow's surprise, he was honored with two prestigious CSU awards during the Oct. 4 banquet - the Alton Scofield Distinguished Service Award and the Colorado State University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Mucklow received two of the three awards that were handed out that night, Whaley said.
"It's huge," he said. The Alton Scofield Distinguished Service Award "is basically awarded to the most outstanding and top agent in the state."
It was the first time a Routt County agent had received the award, he said.
On Friday, a humbled Mucklow didn't have much to say about winning the award, except that he knew nothing about it.
"I was surprised, yes," he said. "It's a very nice award."
Mucklow, who began working at the Routt County Extension Office in 1989, said the award belongs to everyone he's worked with the past 18 years.
"I don't think I would have accomplished anything without the great staff and great volunteers I have worked with," he added.
Nik Olsen, a spokesman for the Colorado State University Extension Service, said the Alton Scofield Distinguished Service Award is given to an agent who is "dedicated to superior service."
Mucklow "has shown that dedication and success in all that he does," he said. "He serves his community by being active in several local organizations for civic and economic development, ranching and economic stewardship."
Former Routt County and current Jackson County Extension Agent Debbie Alpe nominated Mucklow for the award with support from the Routt County agents, Whaley said.
Mucklow was chosen for the award partly because of his work with the state's Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics and for being the "driving force" in documenting and communicating the public value of ranchlands, Olsen said.
"I think he was selected because of his continual work in keeping agriculture viable in the Yampa Valley, and teaching nonagricultural people about the value and importance of agriculture and our Western heritage," he said. "He's been recognized across the nation for that."