2009 Lenhart J.H. Grothe Resources Award winner
John Roland "Rollie" Snodgrass, '32
John Roland Snodgrass graduated from the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, now known as the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture with honors in 1932.
Roland was a tireless proponent of Alaskan agriculture, both in public and private life; thus deserving, in the hearts of many, the true "Father of Agriculture" title in Alaska.
Former state senator Jay Kerttula wrote of Roland Snodgrass: "Rollie was exactly what was needed in the frontier—a Thomas Jefferson-archeologist-paleontologist, still revered on St. Lawrence Island. He worked with and exceeded the contribution of the immortals of Alaskan anthropology. A professor of genetics, chemistry, and agriculture; a surveyor and veterinarian; a lifetime Alaska farmer, land use planner, agricultural economist and director of the state Department of Agriculture."
During Roland’s term as director of agriculture, there were many projects he initiated, including some of the first land sales at Delta Junction, the meat inspection program, the grain incentive program, the frozen vegetable processing project in cooperation with the University and USDA, the reindeer slaughter plant at Nome, and the irrigation loans from AFLF due to the dry years in the late 1960s.