Stewardship is the word that Doug and Erin Holmes of Farmington, Utah, use to explain why they have been generous in giving to others. "If I were to state it simply," Doug said, "I'd have to say 'Because we have been given much, we too must give.' It's our responsibility to help better the world."
In April of 2007 the College of Life Sciences awarded the Holmes its Distinguished Service Award in recognition of their support of BYU students and their research that ultimately will help many thousands of the world's poorest people in South America. Most of their assistance has been used to support research in quinoa, a highly nutritious but underdeveloped grain grown in Bolivia and Peru (see "Quinoa: improving an ancient grain and preserving a way of life" in BioAg, Spring 2006*).
The Holmes family recently visited the high-altitude plains of Bolivia with a BYU team to get
a first hand look at the crop and peoples they were supporting.
The Holmes' recently visited the BYU project in Bolivia and saw first hand how the research they supported was benefiting local farmers. "That trip had the kind of impact on our kids that we had hoped for," Erin said. Doug and Erin have both instilled in their children a sense of stewardship and responsibility since they were toddlers. Their oldest daughter, Allison, said, "My parents have shown me how to always be generous, and that giving of my time is as important as anything I could do with money. I've learned that the important thing is to notice needs, and then give."
Doug entered BYU with plans to be a seminary teacher. "My experience at the 'Y' is something that is near and dear to my heart," Doug said. "It engaged me intellectually and was spiritually fulfilling... giving me deep spiritual roots." As he and Erin began having children, they decided
on a different course, which took Doug into business. He earned an MBA degree from BYU in 1988 and pursued a successful career in the tele-communications industry. A few years ago the company he worked for was sold to AT&T.
Doug is co-founder and chairman of Parents for Choice in Education, an effort that has involved the entire family. He is also on the board of Safe Harbor Women's Shelter and currently serves as bishop of his family ward. "Our hope is that others will be inspired as we have been to give generously to BYU," Doug said.