Daines Honors Montanan of the Month: Gerald “Jerry” Marks of Missoula County

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines recognized Gerald “Jerry” W. Marks of Missoula County for his service to his community during his tenure as the county’s longest-serving employee.

Through his “Montanan of the Week” initiative, Daines each month will highlight a Montanan by submitting a statement of recognition in the official Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.

Daines welcomes anyone to nominate fellow Montanans for Daines’ “Montanan of the Month” program by calling Daines’ office at 202-224-2651 or by filling out the contact form on Daines’ website: HERE.

The following is the tribute Daines submitted to the Congressional Record to honor Jerry Marks:


Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, today I have the distinct honor of recognizing Gerald “Jerry” W. Marks of Missoula County for his service to his community during his tenure as the county’s longest-serving employee.

Growing up on a farm near Townsend, Montana, Jerry went on to lead an accomplished life from his time in the U.S. Army serving overseas in Vietnam to receiving quality education based in agriculture and public service from Montana State University and the University of Montana. His studies served him well as he began his long career as Missoula County’s Agriculture Extension Agent in 1969.

Jerry built programs and partnerships centered around agriculture, horticulture and community development. During his tenure, Jerry increased the enrollment and community participation in 4-H by 30 percent, helped establish the Extension Forestry Program in 1983 and developed the County Weed Control Program in 1985. Jerry’s most recent project, which took decades to finish, was the completion of the Gerald W. Marks Exploration Center and Rocky Mountain Gardens located on the Missoula County Fairgrounds, which fittingly bears his name.

Jerry and his wife of 51 years, Sharon, have two children and four grandchildren. Hailing from South Dakota, Sharon also grew up on a farm and had a career as an extension agent. The Markses enjoy sewing arts, growing plants, creative cooking and supporting Missoula’s arts community. After 55 years of service to his community, Jerry is set to retire March 1, 2024, and I have no doubt he will keep busy with his many hobbies and friends throughout Missoula County.

It is my distinct honor to recognize Jerry Marks for his life of service to the Missoula community. His favorite quote epitomizes his life’s work, “Do not fear the headwinds, for they will make your program stronger.” Thanks for your tireless work, Jerry, you make Montana proud and are one of the reasons it remains The Last Best Place.