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Don Nelson 1938-2020

Don Nelson 1938-2020Dr. Donald D. Nelson, Professor of Animal Sciences, died on July 5, 2020 at his home in Red Bluff, California. Don, a horse and beef cattle enthusiast, came to WSU Animal Sciences in 1989 as a beef cattle Extension specialist and promptly established an outreach program in managed grazing to benefit beef producers. With two prestigious Kellogg Foundation grants, Don encouraged holistic thinking about grazing and beef cattle management, created leaders among Washington ranching community, and taught ranchers conflict management skills. Don was a pioneer in the movement of sustainable ranching and has been recognized in national awards as “an innovator, visionary, leader, collaborator, sage, mover and shaker and educator”. An avid reader and note taker, Don could discuss the history and newest aspects of grazing, resource use, leadership and politics. His sense of humor was much appreciated as was his sound and thoughtful advice. After his wife Suzanne’s death, Don retired and moved to California to be near his family. Don is survived by his son Stuart (Sarah), Heather, Montgomery (Heather), and Holly (Kirk) Slaughter, grandchildren, and his brother in-law Stuart (Mary) Phister. A celebration of his life will be held later this summer in Clovis, CA. A longer obituary is available here.