Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at MSU Inducts Inaugural Hall of Fame Class

Ag News Stories | November 1, 2023

The alumni of the Alpha Gamma Rho-Alpha Delta Chapter at Montana State University are excited to announce the development of a new Hall of Fame to celebrate the accomplishments of alumni and their dedication to the agriculture industry, the state of Montana and MSU.

The inaugural class of inductees truly exemplify the purpose of Alpha Gamma Rho, “To make better men, and through them a broader and better agriculture.”

The 2023 inductees include Bill Jimmerson, Dr. LeRoy Luft and Ron Ramsfield. An induction ceremony and alumni reception will be held during the Celebrate Agriculture weekend on November 4th at 5:00 pm at the AGR Fraternity house in Bozeman.

Bill Jimmerson helped to shape and guide the lives of AGR members and many more FFA members and youth from across Montana.

Bill spent 32 years as a Montana Agricultural Education teacher and FFA Advisor, including from 1980 to 2003 at the Conrad High School, where he was instrumental in starting the State Ag Sales and State Ag Issues career development events.

Following his teaching career, Bill served seven years as Montana State FFA Advisor from 2005 to 2013, directing the State Officer Team headquartered at MSU in Bozeman.  During that time, he helped secure funding for 12 new Ag Ed programs in Montana High Schools, and later served as Interim Director for the Montana FFA Foundation.

In 2012, Bill was honored as “Champion of Change” by the White House for his work in developing a national program for Native American FFA members, which provides Native American students with opportunities to become involved in FFA, and to share their culture with others in the organization.

Bill was as big a bobcat fan as you could find and always made time to support the active AGR chapter. Few people have been as much of an advocate for youth and agriculture education in Montana as Bill Jimmerson.

We lost Bill far too soon when he passed unexpectedly on September 30, 2022 at the age of 74. His memory lives in the countless number of leaders he mentored through AGR and FFA.

Dr. LeRoy Luft became in AGR member in 1956 where he served as Vice Noble Ruler, editor of the College Farmer Magazine, a member of Student Senate and showed in the Little International Livestock Show.

As an alumnus of Alpha Delta and during his career in the Cooperative Extension Service, he was asked to serve on the AGR National Educational Foundation Board. He served in that role for six years including two as president.

He served as the Alpha Delta Chapter Advisor for two years and has served on the Chapter Alumni Board and the MSU Alumni Board.  Brother Luft was named as one of 100 AGR’s of the Century by the National AGR Organization. 

Along with receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Montana State, Brother Luft received an ROTC Commission and served two plus years in the Army and subsequently the Montana National Guard for six years. 

After completing his active military, he was employed by the Montana Cooperative Extension Service serving as an Agent in Teton and Richland Counties. Those two sites of employment provided him with an opportunity to serve the respective county’s agricultural communities. 

He then went on to obtain his Master’s Degree and became a State Extension Farm Management Specialist for two years before going on to the University of Nebraska for his Ph.D.  He returned to Montana, again serving as an Extension Farm Management Specialist, conducting educational agriculture programs around the state. 

After two years, Luft was hired by the University of Idaho as its Cooperative Extension Director and also serving as Associate Vice Provost for Outreach.  He was awarded the Epsilon Sigma Phi Ruby Award, the highest national award for Extension personnel.  LeRoy retired from the University of Idaho and moved back to Bozeman.  Subsequently, he was asked to serve as Interim Director of the Montana Extension Service for one year. 

Luft re-retired in January 2004, but of course continues to support the AGR Fraternity. A room in the remodeled chapter house has his name on it, along with his brother Vernon.

Ron Ramsfield has truly been a standout alumnus since graduating from MSU in 1973 with a degree in agronomy. Upon graduation, Ron was already hard at work for the University at the experiment station in Sidney, Montana, where he would spend 20 years.

After his work at the experiment station, Ron returned to Bozeman in 1993 where he has been working in MSU’s winter wheat program to develop new varieties of the crop for the past 30 years. In October of 2023, Ron celebrated his 50th anniversary of service to Montana State University.

In addition, to his work for the university, Ron has been indispensable to the active brothers at Alpha Gamma Rho. He has served on the alumni board for over 25 years as the house operations management.

Since taking his role on the alumni board, Ron has constantly helped to repair the house and many of the fixtures to keep everything in one piece. In regards to the type of repairs Ron is able to do, one would be hard-pressed to find something he cannot fix. Just a few repairs on the semesterly laundry list Ron receives from our house have been fixing the water heater, broken windows, and even the plumbing on some occasions.

Often, the active Brothers jump in to help Ron with the many tasks he has when repairing the house. Once they get to work with Ron, word is there is never a dull moment, as he always has a great story to tell about his time at MSU and shares his vast knowledge, whether it concerns agriculture or general repairs.

As a fraternity that always receives compliments on the condition and upkeep of the house, we have Ron to thank for keeping everything together, and his wise words, “There’s always something that needs fixing.”