2013 NDSU Harvest Bowl Agribusiness Award recipient named

Farm Forum

Richard Frohberg, former North Dakota State University wheat breeder and geneticist, will receive the 2013 Agribusiness Award during the 40th annual Harvest Bowl program at NDSU.

This award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of agriculture and business in North Dakota and beyond.

Harvest Bowl activities will take place on Nov. 8-9 in Fargo.

Also honored will be outstanding agriculturists from all counties across North Dakota and several in western Minnesota, and scholarships will be awarded to outstanding male and female NDSU athletes.

Frohberg began his career at NDSU in 1964 and became the principal investigator of the hard red spring wheat breeding program in 1966. He held that position until his retirement in 2002.

During Frohberg’s tenure at NDSU, 25 wheat varieties were released from his program. An additional nine varieties were released after his retirement. Some of the most notable varieties attributed to Frohberg are “Butte 86,” “Reeder,” “Amidon,” “Fortuna,” “Parshall,” sawfly-resistant “Ernest,” “Glenn” and scab-resistant “Alsen.”

In a typical year during much of Frohberg’s career, more than 8 million acres of North Dakota farmland were planted to hard red spring wheat. Seventy to 80 percent of those acres were sown with varieties Frohberg created.

“The significance of Frohberg’s research program is further emphasized when it is considered that on average, during most of his career, 40 percent of farm income in North Dakota was derived from the sale of hard red spring wheat,” says Ken Grafton, NDSU vice president for Agricultural Affairs, director of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. “His high level of performance and character distinguished him and the Plant Sciences Department for its excellence in plant breeding and genetics, and brought recognition to NDSU throughout the state, nation and world.”

Grafton noted that Frohberg also believed in sharing germplasm from his discoveries.

“Frohberg’s elite material was the source of desired agronomic, disease and quality traits for spring wheat production regions throughout the world,” Grafton says.

The 40th annual Harvest Bowl festivities begin Friday, Nov. 8, at the Fargo Ramada Plaza Suites with a dinner and awards ceremony. On Saturday, honorees will participate in educational sessions on the NDSU campus and attend the Harvest Bowl football game featuring Southern Illinois University versus NDSU.