Tribute for C. Booth Wallentine, former longtime Chief Executive Officer of Utah Farm Bureau Federation
With heavy hearts and deepest sympathy, the Utah Farm Bureau expresses condolences to the family of C. Booth Wallentine, former longtime Chief Executive Officer of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, who passed away Wednesday, October 24th, at the age of 74. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues.
Booth was raised on a cattle ranch by a family of agricultural leaders. His love of agriculture and education took him to Utah State University, where he earned a degree in agriculture economics in 1960 before being commissioned as an officer in the United States Army at Ft. Ord, California. While serving as an officer, Booth was awarded the ‘God and Freedom’ award for religious and moral leadership in that post. One of many awards Booth was presented in his life.
Booth’s Farm Bureau career began in 1962 when he joined the field staff of the Utah Farm Bureau. In 1965, Booth joined the Iowa Farm Bureau, serving as a radio, TV and information services director.
Booth returned to Utah in 1973 as Chief Executive Officer for the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. Under his leadership, Utah Farm Bureau would spearhead state and national agriculture policy that focused on improving the social and economic outlook for farmers, ranchers and the rural communities they support. Booth was recognized as an articulate and knowledgeable spokesman for agriculture at the Utah State Legislature and in the halls of the United States Congress.
Commenting on Wallentine’s career, United States Senator Robert F. Bennett said, “Few individuals in our state have contributed more to the preservation and promotion of agriculture and the rural way of life than has Booth Wallentine.”
Many organizations benefited from Booth’s dedication and leadership. He served as vice chairman of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and received its Distinguished Service Award. He was the president of the Utah Council on Economic Education, Advisory member of the Utah Board of Vocational Education, Chairman of the Agribusiness Development Council, and co-founder of the Utah Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and Utah FFA Foundation.
A decorated advocate for agriculture, Booth has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s leadership citation for work on water quality, multiple USDA leadership awards, the ‘Friend of’ awards for the Utah Cattlemen and Utah Woolgrowers Associations and the Utah Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award.
Booth was a dedicated Aggie. He served as a member and chairman of the USU Board of Trustees, and was later recognized by the land-grant institution with its Distinguished Service Award, and was the first inductee into the Utah Agriculture Experiment Station’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. His more than 40 years of service to USU were highlighted when Booth was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Agriculture in 2004.
A great-grandson of a Willie Handcart Pioneer Company survivor, Booth co-founded the National Mormon Trail Foundation and led efforts to amend the National Trails System Act to include the Mormon Trail. He was appointed Chairman of the federal Mormon Pioneer Historic Trails Commission and vice chairman of Utah’s Sesquicentennial Commission. After retirement, Booth and his wife Raeda served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in up-state New York.
Booth and Raeda were married for 55 years and raised two sons and a daughter, and were blessed with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. All who knew Booth, know of his tireless efforts at serving others. He was a powerful leader for good causes and will be forever remembered for his sincere appreciation for others. The Utah Farm Bureau will always be indebted for his service.
A family obituary can be found HERE.