VALLEY CITY, N.D. – Two individuals, Dr. Marcia McMullen and Robert Carlson, will be the latest to join the N.D. Agriculture Hall of Fame, during ceremonies that will be held during the North Dakota Winter Show on March 5.
Marcia McMullen – She is being recognized for her 28 years of service in the Plant Pathology Department at North Dakota State University, where she served as Extension plant pathologist, IPM coordinator and professor in the department, before retiring in 2012.
During her career, she was instrumental in fighting the wheat and barley scab problems during the 1990s and served on the executive committee of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative. This work on disease management in wheat and barley was instrumental to the success of farmers in not only North Dakota, but also throughout the region.
While at NDSU she authored or co-authored 10 book chapters and reviews, 25 publications in refereed journals and numerous Extension publications and surveys. She was received many awards during her tenure, including the Continued Service Award from Upsilon Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Fraternity, the Boss of the Year Award from the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the Excellence in Extension Award from the American Phytopathological Society, the Distinguished Service Award from the Northcentral Division of the American Phytopathological Society, the Agricultural Woman of the Year award from the Sigma Alpha Agriculture Sorority, the Honorary Kernel Award from the N.D. Grain Growers Association, the Woman of the Year in Agriculture award from the Fargo/Moorhead YWCA, and the Communicator of the Year Award from the NDSU.
In addition to her work on the scab issue, McMullen was involved in many professional state, regional and national organizations, including the Northcentral Wheat Pathologist’s Committee, the Advanced Crop Advisors Committee, and the Policy Committee of Northland Federal Educator’s Credit Union. Additionally, she was the Chair of the Promotion, Tenure, and Evaluation Committee for the NDSU College of Agriculture and was the first female faculty member who was promoted to the level of professor in the College of Agriculture at NDSU.
She continues to be engaged in agriculture by editing journal manuscripts for researchers publishing their research. In her spare time, she likes to garden, read, travel and spend time with her family. She lives in Fargo, is married and has four grown children, and a grandson and granddaughter.
Robert Carlson – This former president of the North Dakota Farmers Union went on to become the first president of the World Farmers Organization that is headquartered in Rome. He has worked tirelessly to improve the economic conditions of farmers and rural citizens everywhere through innovative initiatives.
Carlson grew up on a family farm near Glenburn, N.D., and served in the Vietnam War, before returning to the Carlson Farm where he and his wife raised small grains and bison. Later, as the state Farmers Union president he championed a number of projects that are still in existence today.
He pioneered the Carbon Credit Program that put millions of dollars into the pockets of farmers in exchange for sequestering carbon in their soil to limit greenhouse gas emissions, helped establish Dakota Pride Cooperative and launched a farmer-owned restaurant in Washington, D.C., which has grown into a chain of Founding Farmer restaurants and now gives farmers an opportunity to earn a greater share of the consumer’s food dollar.
He was also instrumental in getting passed the first-ever disaster assistance program for U.S. livestock producers in 1997 when a series of blizzards and flooding claimed the lives of 110,000 head of cattle in our region. In addition, he helped organize the Rally for Rural America in 2000, which resulted in over 4,000 farmers and ranches gathering in the nation’s capital to draw attention to the economic crisis gripping farm and rural economies.
On the global basis, Carlson implemented a number of humanitarian efforts, including on-the-ground rebuilding in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and delivery of North Dakota wheat to starving widows and children in Afghanistan. In addition, he served as the United Nations Special Ambassador of the International Year of Family Farming in 2014 and was appointed to USDA’s Agricultural Trade Advisory for Grains and Oilseeds.
In his spare time, Carlson enjoys reading, biking and repairing things and has always believed farming is the most important job in the world. He and his wife have two grown sons.
About the Agriculture Hall of Fame – The permanent home for the state’s Agriculture Hall of Fame is at the North Dakota Winter Show, in Valley City, and the display is available for viewing at both the NDWS Event Center and the Rosebud Visitor’s Center, in Valley City.
Each year, the inductees are selected by the N.D. Ag Hall of Fame Committee, which is comprised of the following agricultural groups and organizations: N.D. Lamb & Wool Producers, N.D. Grain Growers, N.D. Stockmen’s Association, N.D. Oilseed Council, N.D. Dept. of Agriculture, N.D. Pork Producers Council, NDSU Extension Service, N.D. Farm Bureau, N.D. Farmers Union, N.D. Vocational Agriculture, North Dakota Winter Show, N.D. Implement Dealers Association, Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers, Northern Pulse Growers Association and a representative from N.D.’s farm broadcasters and ag journalists.