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PNW-SRM Awards

Trailboss Award 2023: Tom Platt

Tom Platt holding Trail Boss Plaque with Saundra Morris
Tom Platt holding the Trail Boss award with Saundra Morris

2O23 TRAIL BOSS AWARD, Thomas E. Platt

Tom Platt’s interest in range management blossomed in the early 1980’s when he began a career as an extension educator for Washington State University. His work focused on ranch management in several eastern Washington counties having Channel Scablands. He conducted university outreach and education in management of livestock, forage and rangeland resources, and the ranch and farm business. Tom joined SRM in the late 1980’s. Although only minimally trained in range management, he spent a career learning from his SRM colleagues and passing that learning on to area ranchers and livestock producers through newsletters, workshops, and articles. Later in his career Tom became co-webmaster for the PNW Section, and after he retired, Washington Chapter Treasurer and then President, and recently Section Treasurer and Section Co-Webmaster. Tom asserts that his contribution to rangelands stems jointly from outreach to ranchers and in providing leadership to WA Chapter and support to the PNW Section and the other chapters. 

Tom’s resume is impressive! He has participated in outreach to ranchers and others interested in the Channel Scabland and other rangeland management and ecology. He has written and spoken on grass tetany (a serious problem following Mt. St. Helen’s eruption), mineral and protein deficiency of range cattle and sheep, Holistic Management, riparian management, noxious weed control, rangeland stewardship, poisonous plants and algae toxicity, rangeland grasshoppers, drought, wildlife, ranch economics, and lupine induced Crooked Calf Syndrome. 

A quick peek at his resume indicates that he is well educated (at New Mexico State University and Washington State University); that he has garnered numerous awards recognizing outstanding achievement over his career; that he has been a successful fundraiser for a multitude of natural resource efforts; that he has a boat-load of publications and presentations (255 titles by our count!); that he has many creative activities (web pages, CD’s, and professional and scholarly services). Wow! 

Tom wishes to acknowledge and thank the many SRM’ers who contributed to his rangeland education by generously sharing their knowledge and expertise with him personally, in articles, and in presentations. In particular, he thanks Ben Roche, Jim Tiedeman, Tom Brannon, Hugh Barrett, Jerry Rouse, Kevin Guinn, Craig Madsen, Barry Adams, John Buckhouse, Sandy Wyman, Wayne Elmore, and many others.  It is with great pleasure that the Pacific Northwest Section of the Society for Range Management awards its highest honor, the Trail Boss Award, to Tom E. Platt!