Starting as a farm worker, Mr. Evans operated a large farming and agriculture enterprise before his retirement in 1997. An author, inventor and educator, Evans appeared as an expert witness at the state capital and in Washington D.C. more than three dozen times. He is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of western water and the use of technology to minimize negative impacts of traditional farming on the environment. His farming enterprise was recognized by industry and environmental groups for wise stewardship and conservation of water and natural resources. Mr. Evans served at the State Cabinet level under several Arizona governors.
He accumulated many years of service on the Board of Directors or as an officer of more than a dozen diverse public companies and private corporations. In addition to serving the past 6 years as the Mayor of Payson, Mayor Evans is currently President of the largest Non-Profit in the region and serves on the Payson Regional Hospital Board of Trustees. As Chairman of the Northern Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (NAMWUA), he represents the nine major cities in north-central Arizona on municipal water issues. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Arizona League of Cities & Towns, on the State Municipal Tax Code Commission and on the state Bioscience Steering Committee and the Gila County Extension Board.
He works tirelessly to improve the quality of life we enjoy. He has focused on issues ranging from forest health to fire prevention and human health, wellness and education issues. He has been instrumental in starting or promoting the Community Health & Care Fair, the Women’s Wellness Forum, the Payson Area Food Drive (generating hundreds of thousands of dollars & thousands of pounds of food for the needy); the Payson Community Garden – one of the most successful in the State; and in bringing a Dialysis Center to Payson. He continues to work to bring a four year University to Payson. He has brought many jobs and millions of dollars in grants to the community. His successful efforts to keep the Tonto Natural Bridge open received national attention. He has worked to secure a permanent, sustainable water supply for the Town by completing the Sever and Transfer and beginning construction of the Cragin pipeline. He initiated and has negotiated a global water settlement agreement with the Tonto Apache Tribe.
From migrant farm worker to corporate executive, he has been blessed and privileged to live the American dream. He never forgets his humble beginnings nor fails to give credit to God and the good folks with whom he has been privileged to work for the blessings he has received. His lovely wife Linda is also active in Payson education and volunteer work. They had five children and have ten thoroughly spoiled grandchildren.
BUSINESS AFFILIATIONS AND TRAINING:
BS in Agriculture, BA in Education, honorary doctorate in Environmental Science
FBL Financial Group, Western Management Corporation, Western Agricultural Insurance Company (President for 12 years), The Herman Company, Yuma Mesa Fruit Growers, Inc., Western Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Ag Tech Company, Suburban Sanitation, Inc., Western Computer Services and a number of other related enterprises.
Farming and Ranching Experience – 11,000+ acres of irrigated farmland in Western United States and Mexico raising citrus, grains, vegetables, alfalfa, corn, watermelon, etc. - - ranching operation included 940 sections of grazing land in New Mexico and Arizona - - 12,300 AUM (Animal Units per Month), from late 1970’s through 1995).
CIVIC SERVICE, PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS and ORGANIZATIONS
Past President of Desert Trails Council Boy Scouts of America
Past Chairman Yuma County Chamber of Commerce
Past President Yuma County Farm Bureau
Past Vice President Arizona Farm Bureau Federation
Past President Yuma Mesa Citrus Club & Arizona Crop Improvement Association
Past Chairman State Advisory Board for Agricultural Education
Past Arizona Boll-Weevil Advisory Committee Member
Past National Citrus Advisory Committee Member
Past National Fire Ant Advisory Committee Member
Past Chairman National Agricultural Labor Advisory Committee (Immigration)
Past Chairman Yuma Private Industry Council
Past State Vice-Chairman of the Arizona Private Industry Council
Past Director Arizona State 4-H Foundation
Past Chairman of the 1st Annual Yuma County Town Hall
Past Vice Chairman Yuma Strategic Planning Advisory Committee
Past Chairman of the Arizona Department of Agriculture (Ag & Hort. Commission)
Founding Director of the Arizona Food and Fiber Alliance
Past President of Arizona Farm Bureau Federation
American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors
American Farm Bureau Agriculture Technology Committee Chairman
American Farm Bureau Federation Executive Committee (5.5 million member organization)
Chairman of the Arizona State Agriculture and Horticulture Commission/Arizona Dept of Ag under several governors
RECOGNITIONS & AWARDS:
Who's Who in America, Outstanding Young Man in America, Who's Who in Government 1988, 1991 International Who's Who of Intellectuals
Scouting’s BSA District Award of Merit for Outstanding Service to Youth
Scouting’s BSA Silver Beaver Award
University of Arizona Centennial Outstanding Alumni Award
Yuma High Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture Award 1986
Phoenix Valley Leadership's 1987 Outstanding Arizona Farmer Award
Federal EPA Award of Excellence for Environmental Protection
American Farm Bureau’s Environmental Protection Idea of the Year 1990
Agriculturalist of the Year (1995) presented by Arizona Association FFA
Top Producer Magazine’s (1995) National Outstanding Farmer of the Year
Arizona FFA Man of the Year (1995 & 2003)
2014 University of Arizona Extension Centennial Award
He is knowledgeable in the application of G.P.S. and G.I.S. and multi-spectral imaging technologies in the management of large commercial enterprises including: farming, ranching, natural resource and recycling projects – concepts and tools that are just now being considered in urban management. He is a nationally recognized expert on utilization of technology to minimize the negative impacts of traditional resource usage on the environment.
For more than three decades he was recognized as an innovator in employing emerging computer and other advanced technologies to create efficient regulatory reporting, reliable billing and effective job flow in several different industries (agriculture, chemical manufacturing, essential oils and industrial feed stocks, municipal solid waste disposal, computer hardware and software manufacturing, municipal biosolids, recycling, insurance [health, life, casualty – company president], banking, financial services), using a small but highly efficient work force. He succeeded where others struggled by effectively communicating objectives and inspiring employees to integrate computer and software solutions in order to create uniquely designed technical applications tailored to meet specific business needs and requirements.