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Wyoming People

Finch honored for years of service during Casper College Ag Banquet

Written by Saige Albert

Casper – On May 3, students and faculty alike were honored for their work during the year at the Casper College Ag Club and Rodeo Awards Banquet.

With a long list of outstanding students, scholarship recipients, livestock judging awards and rodeo honors, one highlight of the evening was the recognition of long-time faculty member Marty Finch, who is retiring after the spring 2016 semester.

“Mr. Finch is taking early retirement this year,” said Casper College Ag Department Head Heath Hornecker. “Marty came when I was a young faculty member at Casper College. He’s been a solid rock for me over the last decade.”

Retiring instructor

Finch was recognized by his colleagues as an outstanding instructor who has left long-lasting marks on his students.

“He started class with an ag issue, and they talked about it in class everyday. He talked about national issues and tied that to ag economics,” Hornecker continued.

Hornecker also credits Finch for his initiative in launching Casper College Ag Department’s first online degree program.

“When Marty and Todd Jones came in and said they thought they could create an entire online degree in ag business, I didn’t entirely understand it,” he said. “We talked about it and set it up, and today, it’s still working beautifully.”

To date, students from around the world are taking the coursework in an online ag business degree.

Hornecker added, “That program will leave a positive mark for quite awhile. Marty will be truly missed. We will never be able to replace him.”

Praises from colleagues

Jones said, “Marty’s been a friend of mine for close to 30 years. We started around the same time in collegiate academics.”

Jones further emphasized Finch’s role in the department, saying, “He’s created a lasting legacy within his students and former students. We sure appreciate all he’s done.”

“We’ve seen nothing but good things happen in the department at Casper College since Marty has come on board,” Rodeo coach Tom Parker commented. “As part of the rodeo program, I expect each one of the ag majors to take Marty’s ag classes. What can I say about a man who has taken the ag business program to the next level? We’re going to miss Marty.”

Newcomer to the department Jason Johnson recalled when he started three years ago at the department, noting that Finch has been a positive mentor and supportive in all his efforts through the years.

Finally, Jeremy Burkett from the Casper College Ag Department said, “In the past seven years since I started, there has been one solid person for me in terms of guidance, instruction, leadership and bouncing questions off of. That’s Marty.”

“I will always value the friendship and professionalism Marty brings to the table,” Burkett added. “Thank you, Mr. Finch.”

Finch was presented with a pocket watch in recognition of his time at Casper College.

Student recognition

In addition to recognizing Finch for his years of service, the Casper College faculty also recognized outstanding students.

As outstanding sophomore agriculture students, Finch recognized Quade Palm and Ty Espy, providing leadership and motivation to their peers.

As outstanding freshman agriculture students, Jones recognized Josh Miller and Peggy Garman.

Livestock judging students were also recognized for their achievements throughout the year. Tyler Pickinpaugh was recognized as the outstanding sophomore livestock judging student, and Michaela Clowser received the Big Heart Award.

Jaelyn Ruckman was recognized as the outstanding freshman student.

On the rodeo side, Parker recognized Kodee Williams as High Point Cowgirl for the 2015-16 year. High Point Cowboy went to Dylan Wahlert.

Clayton Atkinson received the Obleness Award, and the Dale Stiles Award went to Jordan Harrell.

Also during the evening, the Casper College Men’s Rodeo team was recognized for earning a chance to compete at the College National Finals Rodeo. Team members include Dylan Wahlert, Tyler Weeding, Coley Nicholls, Jw Meiers, Bryce Bott and Trevin Fox.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..