Lloyd Snider


(May 1, 2007)

Ralston Bench homesteader and farmer, Lloyd Snider, 90, died peacefully early Tuesday, May 1 at the Powell Valley Hospital from congestive heart failure.

Born Aug.19, 1916, in Modoc County, Calif., he was the son of Robert J. Snider and Mary Sanders Snider. He grew up on a ranch in California on the edge of Goose Lake near the border town of New Pine Creek.

He attended college at the University of California, Berkley and graduated in 1938 with a B.S degree in Economics. From there he worked in the San Francisco area as a mortgage and loan appraiser for California Western States Insurance company. This career was interrupted by World War II as he entered the U.S. Navy in 1943, was commissioned an Ensign and volunteered for torpedo boat duty during the war. He had met Bertha Berg during his time at the insurance company in San Francisco, and they were married Dec. 2, 1945 in San Francisco after he returned from the war. He spent the remainder of his duty as an aide to an Admiral in San Diego until honorably discharged in 1946.

The couple moved back to the family ranch in northern California and ranched with his father for several years. In May 1949, their daughter, Sandy, was born in Lakeview, Ore. Shortly after, he signed up for the veteran’s homestead drawing and was awarded 150 acres in the Ralston Bench area. Early in 1950, he and his wife Bertie and daughter moved to a tar paper barracks with no electricity and running water and began turning the sagebrush into productive farm and as part of the Heart Mountain Irrigation project. He eventually expanded his farm to over 400 acres.

He was always an innovator and willing to try new ideas, being one of the first on the project to use siphon tubes for irrigation. During his farming career he was a cooperator on many research projects, both in sheep and crops, as he had an inquisitive mind and a willingness to improve production techniques.

These included a series of experiments with Ken Faulkner, extension sheep specialist, on feeding early lambs, using flavor additives, creep feeding, implanting spring lambs, and the economics of high protein feeds and early weaning procedures. He was instrumental in the creation of the Powell Early Lamb Pool which still serves as a marketing organization for sheep producers in this area.

Because of these efforts, he received a Ford Foundation Farm Efficiency Award in 1967 in sheep production. He also worked with Dr. Ray Field, in animal science, to determine consumer acceptability of various lamb carcasses. He and daughter Sandy developed a flock of Hampshire sheep and were able to certify 3 meat sires in this breed, more than any other breeder in the U.S.

In 1970, an outbreak of sugar beet root maggots occurred in the Powell area. Studies were initiated by the UW Plant Science Department on the Snider farm to determine control methods available for the insect. Weed control methods for sugar beet production were also conducted on the farm for several years.

Warren Smith of the Powell Research Center also conducted various pinto bean field trials with the varieties of the highest quality selected and seeded on the Snider farm to serve as seed for other Wyoming farmers. Seed production with beans, barley and several grass seed varieties has continued to be the focus of the farming venture.

In 1980, farm operations were rented to Mike Forman, and Snider went into partial retirement, maintaining an interest in the farming operations and organizations related to agriculture production.

He served his community as a member of the Powell School Board for 12 years, including five years as chairman. He was a member of the Park County Planning and Zoning Commission and chairman for three years between 1975 and 1982. He was also a member of the Park County Predator Board and chairman for three years from 1981 to 1987.

He also served on many statewide education and agricultural boards, including seven years as chairman of the UW President’s Council to the College of Education. He was a member of the UW College of Agriculture Advisory committee from 1982 to 1986 and on the advisory board of the UW Research Center. He was a member of the Wyoming Wool Growers Association for many years and served as a regional vice president of that organization.

In 1983 he was named Seedsman of the Year by the Wyoming Crop Improvement Association and was selected Outstanding Agriculturist by the UW Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, honorary agricultural fraternity, in 1984. In 1991, the University of Wyoming presented him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his contributions to agriculture in Wyoming. In 1995, he was selected as a Wyoming Agriculture Citizen of the Year by the Wyoming Livestock Roundup.

During his agriculture career in the Powell area, he had a profound influence on many people and was always willing to lend a wise and helpful hand or give advice to young farmers and ranchers as they got involved in raising crops and livestock. Always a gentleman and a diplomat, he was able to work with a variety of situations to achieve successful results.

Starting in 1990, he spent the winters in Arizona at a small mobile home park in west Tucson. He turned his agriculture background to growing roses there, which flourished with his care. He became a fan of Arizona Wildcats basketball and enjoyed visiting with friends from around the country who would gather there as snowbirds. He was always ready to get back to the farm in late spring to be on hand to watch the crops being planted and actively helped with irrigating pastures and serving as a farm adviser.

He was preceded in death by his wife Bertha in 1990, and brothers John and Robert Snider. He is survived by his only daughter, Sandy, in Powell, and several nieces and nephews in California and Oregon.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at the Union Presbyterian Church in Powell under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home. The family has requested that donations be made in his name to the UW Foundation/ Agriculture Applied Research Fund. Donations should be mailed to: University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture Development Office, PO Box 3354, Laramie, WY 82071.