Darrell Hanavan, Executive Director

Darrell Hanavan has been the Executive Director of the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC) since 1982.  He has also been Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG) since 1998 and the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation (CWRF) since 1989.  Hanavan has also been Executive Director of Colorado Sorghum Producers (CSP) since 2007.  CSP is a membership and research and promotion organization whose purpose is to promote, protect and safeguard the industry of growing sorghum in Colorado.

Hanavan has served as Chairman of the National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program since its inception in 1993.  This program administers a special federal grant that is currently funding thirty-five scientists in 11 Great Plains and western states that are engaged in an integrated, multi-disciplinary effort to reduce the impact of jointed goatgrass on winter wheat production.

Hanavan served as Chairman of the U.S. Wheat Associates/National Association of Wheat Growers Joint Biotechnology Committee from January of 2000 to January of 2008, when the chairmanship transitioned to a wheat producer chairman on an alternating rotation between U.S. Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers.  He has served as an ex-officio member of the Joint Biotechnology Committee since that time.  The role of this committee is to develop and recommend a unified policy on biotechnology for the U.S. wheat industry.

Hanavan received a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Northern Colorado in 1973 and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Denver in 1977.

Hanavan is a Colorado native born on a wheat farm near Cheyenne Wells.  He is the second oldest of twelve children of parents Charles and Patsy Hanavan.  He has two grown children.


  • Conferred the title of “Honorary Member” in 1990 by the Colorado Young Farmers Association.
  • Honored as “State Friend of Extension” in 1990 and 2004 by the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.
  • Conferred “The Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture” Award of Merit in 1998 by the Colorado State University Chapter of the Honor Society Agriculture Gamma Sigma Delta.
  • Awarded “Certificate of Recognition for Meritorious Service” in 1999 by Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Ament for demonstrating the highest attributes of public service for the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
  • Awarded the United State’s Department of Agriculture’s “Certificate of Appreciation” in 2000 by Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Richard Rominger for outstanding service to American agriculture and exemplary commitment to the family farm and ranch and rural communities.
  • Selected as an Honorary Member of the Western Society of Weed Science in 2001 for significant contribution to the field of weed science through leadership and involvement in the National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program which has enabled many weed scientists to develop a better understanding of this weed and contributed to winter wheat producers being able to implement integrated management strategies for this problem weed.
  • Honored by the Colorado Seed Growers Association in 2001 for “dedicated efforts and foresight in developing and administering the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation Program.”