JT Saunders

Department of Animal and Range Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

“Make hay while the sun shines" was the mantra for JT Saunders, Red Bluff Ranch Manager.

Just as haying operations were to begin in late June, unexpected staff departures dramatically affected the crew at the Bozeman Agricultural Research and Teaching Farm, near the MSU campus. Understanding the predicament of the farm operations, JT, without hesitation, drove 80 miles round trip daily from Red Bluff to Bozeman, worked exhaustive days, and spearheaded the harvest of more than 460 acres of hay.

During this same time, the Lodgepole Fire burning in central Montana weighed heavily on JT, having grown up in this rural area and knowing many of the people in the communities impacted by the blaze. With modest foundation funds, he worked with Bozeman Costco to purchase 9,000 bottles of water. After work, he and a co-worker drove through the night to deliver the water to the Winnett Volunteer Rural Fire Department. After unloading the pallets of water, they immediately returned to Bozeman to resume haying the next day.

Even with taking on additional labor-intensive responsibilities, JT still managed his duties at Red Bluff. For his inspirational and selfless dedication, JT Saunders gets my support for making a “Pure Gold” impact.

Nominated by Patrick Hatfield; Received award on January 17, 2018

Amy Stix

EMpower, MSU-Bozeman

Amy is always trying to help us in anyway possible coming into the AIRO tutor room at regular intervals even just to say hi or good morning. And following up on emails to provide us with scholarship information, EMpower meetings or anyway we can be involved at Montana State. She sacrifices a lot of her time to go to our EMpower meetings coming in after hours and sending emails after hours to get good speakers and really focusing on our needs as students. Amy Stix positively impacts the community by never letting the students in EMpower feel like they are in it alone. She does her due diligence to create a fun, safe and good learning and growing environment/community. Amy Stix has inspired me to help in the transition of other tribal college students to the larger Universities, acknowledging the struggles and challenges in my own corner of the world to look for solutions that are both impactful and inspiring.
Nominated by Gordon North Piegan; Received award on January 10, 2018