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DAA: Henry L. Shands

Henry L. Shands


Fort Collins, CO


Good stewardship and a willingness to treat others fairly guide the work of Henry Shands, whose career spans academics, industry and government. He currently is director of the National Seed Storage Laboratory and National Animal Germplasm Program in Fort Collins, Colorado. To give him focus for the day ahead, he takes an early morning run. “When I’m on my run, I can think most clearly,” he says. “It’s a time to contemplate what I’m going to be doing during the day, to think ahead and to think things through. It’s been especially helpful when dealing with international negotiations and sensitive subjects.” His international associations also are enhanced by the years he spent at Purdue, where he knew students from around the world. “I still have contact with many outstanding students I met at Purdue. That’s been a wonderful association, having that linkage, and it stimulated much of my interest in the international scene.” In Fort Collins, he says, “We have agreements with many of these countries, storing seeds for security. It’s nice to have linkages that transcend years of time and political wars. The bond you get as a costudent is something to be cherished.” While going the distance as a jogger helps him do the same on the job, running also has been a lifelong interest. He has passed the finish lines in marathons from Boston to Toronto, Indianapolis to Wichita. And now that he lives in Colorado, he’s added cross-country skiing to his outdoor repertoire. “I have to have something during the day to keep me somewhat fit to tackle the rest of the day,” he says. Indoors, he enjoys making fine furniture “when I have time,” and many pieces now fill his children’s homes.