Water Leader’s Legacy Gift Creates Ripple Effect
WHY I GIVE
Continuing the tradition of FarmHouse, remembering a loved one, giving back to something that changed your life…each day we hear a new reason you chose to make a gift to the FarmHouse Foundation. Share your reason by emailing us.
CELEBRATING ROBERT LONGENBAUGH’S PASSIONS AND GENEROSITY
It is incredible what foresight, planning and generosity can do to leave a legacy for the future. Robert Longenbaugh (Colorado State 54), was a planner in all facets of his life, including his 55-year career in planning and advocating for Colorado’s water resources and its future.
For a number of years, Bob talked to the FarmHouse Foundation staff about his desire to give significantly to benefit young FarmHouse men, through education and developing future leaders, especially those who share his passion for water management. After his passing on Oct. 17, 2020, his thoughtful planning came to fruition.
Bob joined the Colorado State FarmHouse Chapter in 1954 when he enrolled at Colorado A&M, now Colorado State University (CSU). The young chapter was only five years old when he initiated. He was one of the first agricultural engineers to graduate from CSU’s new program.
The day he graduated in 1957, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in Guam and served as a meteorologist, further spurring his interests in water, precipitation and storms. Following his military service, he returned to Fort Collins, Colo., to complete a master’s degree in agricultural engineering, specializing in soil and water management.
Later, he became a tenured assistant professor in civil engineering. As a faculty member for 19 years, Bob received numerous awards and recognition for his research on water issues and irrigation, working closely with farmers and politicians across the state of Colorado and the nation. In 1975, he was promoted to associate professor.
In 1981, he became the assistant state water engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources where he worked extensively in well permitting, water research, litigation and groundwater issues. He was a pioneer in applying computer methods in water management for the state. He held this position for 11 years until his retirement in 1991. In retirement, he remained active as a consultant in educating people about water issues and the importance of water to agricultural life in Colorado.
“In Colorado, water is truly the lifeblood of agriculture,” said Jim Hendrix (Colorado State 72), president of Progressive Ag Management and a FarmHouse Foundation Trustee. “Bob was always interested in what was new and advancing in the technological field of irrigation and how water could be used more efficiently. He was a dedicated FarmHouse alumnus.”
“Bob and I held many discussions on Colorado groundwater issues and shared a deep concern about the future of our state in this regard,” said Master Builder Greg Bamford (Colorado State 67). “Bob was a devoted and loyal FarmHouse member for the entire time of my association with the Fraternity.”
Bob’s generous six-figure legacy gift will have a ripple effect on young FarmHouse leaders for many years to come. It was years prior and planning ahead, when he named the FarmHouse Foundation as a beneficiary of two annuities, which resulted in this generous gift.
An endowment fund in his name has been established, which will award annual academic scholarships to recognize and reward outstanding student leaders seeking an undergraduate or graduate water-related degree, support the participation of the Colorado State Chapter in FarmHouse leadership training programs, invest in the educational programs of the International Fraternity and support the operations of the FarmHouse Foundation.
“Bob’s relationship with FarmHouse was important to him,” said Dwight Muhlbrandt, Bob’s stepson and executor of his estate. “His identity after leaving home and enrolling at what is now Colorado State University was wrapped around two things, CSU and FarmHouse. He grew up on the family farm and ranch in southwest Colorado near Cortez. He was very active in 4-H as a youngster, and it was only natural that he joined FarmHouse. He maintained life-long friendships with some of his Fraternity brothers.”
“When we started the estate planning process, he identified three primary entities where he wanted to make a lasting financial contribution,” said Dwight. “They were CSU, FarmHouse and the Montezuma County Historical Society. We are pleased he was able to make a lasting contribution to FarmHouse because it was a place that had a very positive impact on him.”
We celebrate Bob’s life well lived and his desire to invest in future leaders as well as his lifelong devotion to water resources and education. His generous legacy gift guarantees his passions will endure for generations to come.
Bob’s example is a reminder of the role FarmHouse has played in shaping and building each of us.
“His continued engagement with all generations of FarmHouse members is a true example of the lifelong commitment we all make to our Fraternity,” said John Ortner (Colorado State 04), former FarmHouse Fraternity Board member.
While different generations, John always counted on Bob being at FarmHouse events, advocating for their chapter and supporting the Fraternity experience.
Furthermore, Bob’s legacy gift underscores the opportunity alumni and friends have through the FarmHouse Legacy Society to assure that the Fraternity continues to Build Men indefinitely.
Would you consider Bob’s example and how you might leave a similar legacy with FarmHouse? Your philanthropy and dedication, like Bob’s, will have a ripple effect as lives are changed, not just someday, but every day and forever.