Stan Gortsema of American Falls will be inducted into the 2012 Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame for his extensive contributions to agriculture and community.
Growing up on the family owned ranch and farm near Grangeville, Gortsema learned how to raise wheat, barley, hay and to take care of one hundred head of Hereford/Angus cross cattle. He learned horsemanship skills in the local 4-H Horse Club led by his father. He was never too busy to find time to fish the Clearwater, Lochsa and Salmon Rivers.
After graduating from the University of Idaho, Gortsema secured a job for the Snake River Cattle Company in American Falls. From 1974-76 he was the confinement barn manager and lead rider of the cowboy crew.
With his passion for agriculture, Stan was hired by the U of I as the Extension Agent for Power County in 1976. He became Chairman Agent in 1984, tiring from the agency in 2010. For 34 years Stan was involved in anything and everything related to agriculture in Power County. He was in charge of the local 4-H Market Animal Program where Power County has one of the top grossing fat stock sales in Idaho. He helped organize the Power County Corn Growers Group which currently delivers approximately 412,000 bushels of corn to area markets. Gortsema has participated in many grain, sugar beet, corn and potato yield trials over the years.
He continues to serve as the ex-officio secretary of the Power County Fair Board and remains an active member of the Power County 4-H/FFA Livestock Sale Committee.
A hard red winter wheat variety called SRG is named for him. It is a dryland variety and is still in foundation seed production at the U of I Experiment Station in Aberdeen.
Gortsema has received many awards for his contributions to agriculture and community. Included in those awards are the Outstanding Service Award from the Southeast Idaho Chapter of University of Idaho Alumni, Grand Teton Council of Boy Scouts Salute a Community Leader Award, and National Association of County Agents Distinguished Service Award.