Animal Science Classroom Dedicated in Honor of Dr. John W. Edwards

Animal Science Classroom Dedicated in Honor of Dr. John W. Edwards

Former Executive Vice President of the North American Limousin Foundation, Dr. John W. Edwards, was honored April 25, 2024, for the foundation he helped set for generations to come at the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). The dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Dr. John W. Edwards Animal Science Classroom took place at the SRJC Shone Farm in Forestville, California.

John Edwards co-founded The Santa Rosa Junior College Agricultural and Natural Resources department in 1969 alongside professors Steve Olson and Rich Thomas. He spent five years at SRJC in the ag department. While he was there, plant science, agri-business and viticulture were added to the curriculum. He was also instrumental in the acquisition of the federal surplus property now known as Shone Farm.

John has a long history of livestock judging, both at the high school and collegiate level, and also as a teacher at different levels. He excelled as a livestock judge while attending Lodi High School and was on the State Champion FFA Livestock Team in 1958. He attended Fresno State where he earned an animal science degree and succeeded in collegiate judging. He married Patsy Charley in 1962 and joined the United States Marine Corp Reserve while still in college. 

He began his teaching career at Santa Rosa High School and then Sierra High School in Tollhouse, California. Following his years teaching high school students, he moved on to Santa Rosa Junior College, where he put the college on the map with the livestock judging team taking Reserve Champion Team honors at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. His team also went on to win four of five of the annual Grand National Livestock Judging Contests at the Cow Palace. 

In 1978, John earned his Ph.D. from Kansas State University. He then moved to Fresno State University where he was an animal science professor, livestock judging coach and faculty advisor. From there, he moved to Colorado State University where his livestock judging team won the National Western Stock Show contest three years in a row and the Fort Worth Stock Show contest two out of three years. His final academic assignment was at Texas A&M University where he coached and received the Alpha Gamma Rho Outstanding Teacher Award. 

In 1993, John was appointed Executive Vice President of the North American Limousin Foundation. After leaving his job at NALF, John moved to Glendo, Wyoming where he was an integral part of the Key Bar Ranch operation. From there, he joined Express Ranches in Yukon, Oklahoma, where he served as Vice President.

John’s 50-year career as a livestock judge included judging every major steer show in the county as well as serving as the official judge for eight national beef breed shows. He also judged cattle in eight foreign countries on four continents.

South Dakota rancher Jim Schott of McLaughlin said, “It is very fitting to recognize Dr. Edwards with the dedication of the Dr. John W. Edwards Animal Science Classroom at the SRJC Shone Farm.” 

Editor’s Note: Information for this article was taken from a press release sent out by Santa Rosa Junior College.