2023 Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2023 CALES Award Winners

We salute their impactful contributions and are proud to call them Wildcats! 



Pat and Pennee Murphree


Pat Murphree and his late wife, Pennee, have grown everything you can imagine in Arizona for nearly six decades, primarily pistachios.

As the farm manager for the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center demonstration farm, Pat oversaw the application of agricultural research on a commercial scale. Project leaders would work with Pat to host their experiments on the family farm. During any given year, Pat would farm as many as 3,200 acres.  

Pat and Pennee also supported their Maricopa community in a variety of endeavors, including 4-H, FFA, and activities like Stagecoach Days. Unbeknownst to many, Pat developed and patented the portable weir, so farmers could measure water use and then make informed decisions.  

In recognition of Pat’s lifetime of dedication to agricultural research, progress, and innovation, the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences is proud to present Aubrey Pat Murphree with the Friend of CALES Award.




Stephanie Boe


As the Tourism and Marketing Manager for the Town of Marana, Stefanie is creating a strategy to attract visitors, residents, and new business to the fastest-growing town in Southern Arizona. She spent the last five years as the Community Engagement Lead with Bayer Crop Science in Marana, and worked to bridge the gap between cutting-edge science and the community.

Stefanie brought nearly $400,000 in Bayer Fund donations to local non-profits, and helped facilitate communication workshops with the University of Arizona College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering. She assisted with the Bayer site internship program, which has employed many University of Arizona students over the years. 

In recognition of her commitment to effective and wide-ranging communications that lead to community engagement and philanthropy, the Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension is pleased to present Stefanie Boe with the ALVSCE Science Communicator of the Year Award.​​​​​​​​​​


Kevin Rogers


Kevin Rogers, a fourth-generation Valley farmer was active in community, civic, and business groups and impacted Arizona agriculture throughout his adult life. The Rogers family produce cotton, alfalfa, wheat, barley and corn over 7,000 acres. He and his wife Janel raised their children while Kevin ran the east valley portion of the family farm.

Kevin served on many boards and delegations involving trade, transportation and the environment. For fourteen years, he was state president of the Arizona Farm Bureau. He also served as Executive Vice President for Arizona Cotton Growers, and was past member and board chair for the Cotton Board of the United States Department of Agriculture. Kevin served on the USDA Air Quality Task Force, having been reappointed by four USDA Secretaries of Agriculture. Appointed by the Governor, he served on the Arizona Mexico Trade Commission. Kevin was also a lifetime supporter of the Arizona 4-H Youth Foundation, the Arizona FFA, and the Maricopa County Fair. Kevin received the CALES Outstanding Achiever Award in 2017.  

Kevin fiercely loved his family, his state, country and Arizona agriculture and we are proud to call him a Wildcat!

In recognition of his lifetime of exceptional service to CALES and the University of Arizona, an example for all Wildcats, we are proud to present the Arizona Alumni Bear Down Award to honor the life of Kevin Rogers.   

Kevin Gene Rogers 


Extraordinary Efforts in Advocacy

Mike Gannuscio
P. Andrew Groseta 
Robert "Tom" Jones
Gary Pasquinelli

As a land-grant university, the University of Arizona is charged with providing readily available, research-based programs and educational resources with the goal of improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the state. Tonight’s recipients have consistently served as advocates and responded to calls for support for the Division of Agriculture, Life, Veterinary Sciences and Cooperative Extension in support of the land grant mission.   

The 2022 Arizona Legislative Session was presented with the opportunity to provide additional funding for the University of Arizona. This group of alumni and friends of CALES influenced the legislature on behalf of the University and the Division for the successful passing of the multimillion-dollar allocation providing support for the Cooperative Extension, Natural Resource Users Law & Policy Center, Arizona Experiment Centers, and additional land grant support.

In recognition of their extraordinary dedication to ALVSCE and its mission through consistent engagement, advocacy, and sheer hard work, the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences is proud to present Tom Jones, Mike Gannuscio, Gary Pasquinelli and Andy Groseta with the Award for Extraordinary Efforts in Advocacy.

Mayfield Family

The Mayfield family's heritage in Arizona agriculture began with farming in Eloy and Buckeye and continues today. They are a multi-generational University of Arizona alumni family with deep ties to the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences. Their son Jacob recently purchased the operation, making him the fouth-generation farmer in the family.

Gary and Carrie both graduated with bachelor’s degrees from CALES and all three of their children studied at the University of Arizona.

The Mayfield family works to promote agriculture through the FFA Foundation, AZ Farm Bureau, Maricopa County Farm Bureau, and the National Onion Association. Both Carrie and Jacob are past members of the CALES Alumni Council.

In recognition of their multi-generational legacy of service to Arizona’s agriculture industry and to their alma mater, the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences is proud to present the Mayfield family with the Heritage Family Award.


Nancy Caywood

Nancy Caywood is a third-generation farm kid with a lifelong passion for agriculture education and advocacy. After her retirement in 2014, she began providing tours of her family farm in Pinal County. Caywood farms has since become a tourism destination, reaching thousands of students and winter visitors each year.

After receiving her master’s degree in agricultural education from the University of Arizona. She developed FARM SMART, an Agricultural Literacy and Education Outreach Program at the University of California Desert Research and Extension Center. She also started the Natural Resource Education Center, which offers classes for school children and winter visitors at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center. Both programs are still thriving today. 

Nancy has served on boards and received awards as part of the Arizona Farm Bureau. Her advocacy has included over 95 interviews with media outlets including The Today Show, Fox News, CNN, and PBS. In recognition of her commitment to tenaciously telling her story, and for her lifetime dedication to advocacy for agriculture, the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences is pleased to present Nancy Caywood with the CALES Alumni Achievement Award.


George Cairo

George Cairo is a College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences alumnus who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture and biosystems engineering. Since then, George has been a pioneer at the nexus of water, agriculture, and energy engineering.

A prominent entrepreneur and innovator, George has pushed the boundaries using technology to stretch our water resources. George is the founder and principal engineer of George Cairo Engineering, a leading water, civil, and agricultural engineering firm. He’s also the founder of Cairo Canal Solutions, bringing innovations to meet the irrigation operation and maintenance challenges. Further, he founded Water Xience, which combines solar, hydro, wind, and biological energy systems with water delivery to find sustainable, efficient solutions for dire problems in the American Southwest.

George is a model to our students and is generous with his time and expertise in service of a brighter tomorrow. He is a member of the Ag 100 Council and a leader on our Biosystems Engineering Advisory Board. He also serves as a mentor to many of our recent graduates. Under George’s wing, promising young minds have seen their careers launch, flourish, and thrive.

The College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences is proud to acknowledge George’s many accomplishments in finding water solutions for Arizona and the Western United States by presenting him with the CALES Alumni Achievement Award.


Dr. Karen Tepper


Dr. Karen Hoffman Tepper has embodied the motto Strengthening Families and Communities in her over twenty-year career serving in community health leadership.

In 2022, she assumed the role of President and CEO at Terros Health. Under her leadership, Terros Health has become a Federally Qualified Health Center and launched several first-in-the-nation programs. Terros has secured millions of dollars to provide comprehensive services for over 40,000 Arizonans facing mental health, substance abuse, and physical health challenges, and to ensure primary care and behavioral health services to underserved populations.  

Dr. Tepper earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona in family studies and human development. She spent twelve years providing direct service to the community by working with the Norton School of Human Ecology, helping to fulfill the University’s land grant mission. Recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona Business, she contributes her expertise by serving on multiple boards and commissions.

Because of Dr. Tepper’s lifelong dedication to strengthening families and communities by providing services to underserved populations, and for her commitment to ensuring a culture of integrity and compassion in the workplace, the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences is proud to present Dr. Karen Hoffman Tepper with the Arizona Alumni Professional Achievement Award.

Dr. Betsy Greene

Dr. Greene is a University of Arizona Professor and Extension Horse Specialist who received her master’s degree in animal sciences from the University of Arizona. 

Betsy’s Arizona Extension program - the Informed Arizona Equestrian - works to develop strong educational programs and resources that address statewide industry issues. Her publications inform Arizona horse owners about local health concerns and teach disease prevention.  

Dr. Greene’s works extensively with Arizona tribal nations to formally develop educational programs and equine extension resources. She is a leader in providing culturally appropriate programming and is known for her ability to present information so that participants feel comfortable applying techniques and knowledge. As a founding member of the eXtension HorseQuest Community of Practice, she has also collaborated with national colleagues to develop educational materials for equine owners and producers.

In recognition of Dr. Greene’s tireless commitment to Arizona Extension programs and her proven ability to lead, teach, and inspire, the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences is proud to present Dr. Elizabeth Greene with the CALES Outstanding Achiever Award.


Elin Miller

Elin D. Miller is a veteran agricultural and management executive with years of senior leadership experience. Miller is the founder and owner of Umpqua Vineyards, in Oregon, and Elin Miller Consulting. She currently serves in leadership positions on global and statewide boards including Fall Creek Farm and Nursery and Oregon State Board of Agriculture.

Previously, Elin served as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, a presidential appointment with jurisdiction over Alaska, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. In this role, Elin led over 600 employees and dealt with many challenging national water quality and climate change issues. At the Dow Chemical Company, Elin held positions including Global Vice President of Public Affairs, Vice President of Pest Management and Asia Pacific. 

Elin holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and plant protection from the University of Arizona. She was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Freeman Medal winner and one of the first women to be elected as a national FFA officer. She has been honored with various state and national awards including, the VIP Citation by FFA, and the Lea S. Hitchner Award by CropLife America. She was also named one of the "Top 50 Most Powerful Women in PR" by PR WEEK.

In recognition of her global leadership in corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors, and for her lifelong advocacy for FFA, we are honored to present Elin D. Miller with the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences Eugene G. Sander Lifetime Achievement Award.

James O'Haco

James O'Haco is a third-generation rancher from Winslow, Arizona who has worked diligently to conserve natural resources and advocate in support of Arizona's agriculture industry. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in animal science from University of Arizona, Jim focused on running his family ranches. He has subsequently restored and enhanced livestock management practices on more than 20,000 acres of private, state and federal lands. His drive for resource conservation is best illustrated by the water system he installed that provides year-round water to wildlife and livestock serving 60,000 acres of ranchland. 

Jim has served as President of the Arizona Cattle Grower's Association and is currently a member of multiple Cattlemen's Associations and Farm & Ranch Groups. His conservation efforts have been recognized with the prestigious National Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the Arizona Game & Fish Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Award, the North America Environmental Respect Award, and the prestigious National Wildlife Federation Private Land Stewardship Award. He has been featured in an Arizona Lottery documentary and multiple publications, including the cover of 100 Years 100 Ranchers.

Jim’s philosophy to always learn from our past and keep improving, has led him to accomplish two of the things he set out to do: have quality cattle and improve the environment.

In recognition of his lifelong dedication to Arizona agriculture and natural resource conservation, we are honored to present James O’Haco with the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences Eugene G. Sander Lifetime Achievement Award.


Joseph Fred Oliver

Joseph Frederick Oliver grew up working alongside his father at the family-founded Desert Seed Company. Fred chose to attend the University of Arizona in 1963. Besides pursuing a degree and finding a suitable fraternity, Fred received an offer to play football under Coach Jim LaRue. His football career was cut short by a torn rotator cuff, which afforded him more time for academics and his beloved fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.

With the Vietnam War raging, Fred followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Army. Fred attended Artillery Officer Candidate School, which served him well as an Artillery forward observer. For his service, he was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge and two bronze stars with V's.

Fred and his wife Susan have been successful in commercial real estate and property development in Southern California. They have three sons – Josh, Hunter, and Spencer – and five grandchildren. Fred and his sons also own and operate RamsRidge Winery in Pine Valley, California. Additionally, Fred serves on the board of the Medical Biological Institute and the boards of several vegetable seed companies.

Fred has generously supported CALES over the years on projects like the Forbes Building renovation, Dr. Rod Wing’s genomics research, and the CALES/SALT Center partnership.

In recognition of his service to his country and the College, we are honored to present Joseph Frederick Oliver the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences Eugene G. Sander Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Ian Pepper 2

In 1977, Dr. Ian Pepper became Assistant Professor and Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Soil, Water and Engineering. Since then, he has changed the lives of graduate students for whom he has served as primary adviser and affected undergraduates who have taken his popular microbiology courses. He helped protect the University community during the COVID-19 pandemic through his wastewater-based epidemiology protocols to track outbreaks.

Dr. Pepper helped establish and has been connected to the National Science Foundation Water Quality Center for over thirty years. Research centers he has led include the NSF Water Quality Center, the Environmental Research Laboratory, and the Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center. Dr. Pepper has authored multiple textbooks and is a fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Pepper inspires collaboration through his energetic and generous spirit. He has received over $28 million in grant funding. In 2020, Dr. Pepper received the Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Graduate College, and in 2021, he was named a Regents Professor. He and his wife, Barbara, support scholarships for underrepresented students in the Department of Environmental Science.

In recognition of his outstanding service to the College and University, his commitment to training the next generation of Environmental Science leaders, and his ability to inspire change, we are honored to present Dr. Ian Pepper with the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences Eugene G. Sander Lifetime Achievement Award.