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In memoriam: Don Toenjes

Don Toenjes
Don Toenjes, UC Cooperative Extension forage and dairy advisor emeritus, died Sept. 28.

Born in Los Angeles in 1931, Toenjes grew up on a ranch on Mount Shasta, earned a Silver Star in 4-H, and attended Shasta Community College.

After graduating with a degree in agriculture from UC Davis, he served in the U.S. Navy. Toenjes received an early release when the Korean War ended and joined UCCE in 1957 in Lake County. In 1962, he transferred to UCCE in Glenn County, where he served as a forage and dairy advisor until he retired in 1991.

During his career, he published numerous peer-reviewed articles on the effects of lime in cow bedding, growing forage crops on poor soil, differences in soil requirements between alfalfa varietals, experimental diets for dairy cattle and the nutritional value of ammoniated rice straw. He also developed a high-production orange orchard.

“Don was very intelligent and innovative,” recalled Bob Sailsbery, UCCE farm advisor emeritus, who worked with Toenjes for about 30 years at UC Cooperative Extension in Glenn County. “He brought these attributes to the field experiments he conducted in his subject matter responsibilities.  In retirement, Don used his ingenuity and persistence to develop a successful almond orchard on gravelly soil.”

Toenjes is survived by his wife, Virginia, children Carol Toenjes, Helen Toenjes-Brown and Kurt Toenjes, and grandchildren Ethan, Katy and Erika Brown.

To read his full obituary, visit

Posted on Monday, October 3, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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