Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient
College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, October 13, 1998
Dr. Laddie J. Elling, Professor Emeritus, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, began his career at the University of Minnesota in 1946. After completing his Ph.D., he developed and led the university alfalfa improvement project for 18 years. This project was noted nationally for its interdisciplinary efforts. His alfalfa nursery establishment techniques, plant dormancy tests, and plant pathogen screens are routine procedures throughout the grass and legume projects of the University today. He developed a seed scarifier, a small belt thresher, a combination spike tooth and belt thresher, a drier system, and a self-propelled field harvester for alfalfa. In 1961, he initiated a fee-based alfalfa performance trial at the University that is presently one of the most important alfalfa testing programs in the world. Dr. Elling has developed or introduced more than 20 important varieties of alfalfa, Kentucky bluegrass, timothy and birdsfoot refoil. Dr. Elling has had a significant impact on the lives and careers of many students. He is described as having had greater impact on undergraduate students than any other member of the department during his active career at the university. During his tenure at the University, Dr. Elling served on numerous committees. One colleague wrote... "Dr. Elling was a tireless worker who always sought to build for the future." Several years before he retired, Dr. Elling identified the need for a detailed history of the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and it was shortly after retirement that he took the leadership for developing this document. Dr. Elling continues to be active in the St. Paul Campus retirees' club.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.