Inductees selected for 2014 N.D. Agriculture Hall of Fame

Farm Forum

The North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame Committee has selected the nominees that will be inducted into the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2014. The nominees are Al Gustin of Mandan, N.D., and the late Alfred Black, formerly of Mandan, N.D.

Al Gustin of Mandan, N.D, retired in November of 2012, after 45 years of farm broadcasting in ND; he was a familiar face and trusted voice in farm homes across the region. His career began at KXJB-TV in Fargo and from April 2004, until his retirement, he was the Farm Director for Clear Channel Radio’s Bismarck stations. He was raised on a farm south of Mandan and today remains an active partner with his brother and brother’s family; there they raise small grains, hay, row crops and run a nearly 300 cow herd of registered Gelbvieh Cattle. Just prior to retirement, Al was named the “Farm Broadcaster of the Year” by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. He had earlier been inducted into the “Silver Circle” by the Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and received the Pioneer Award from the N.D. Broadcasters Association. He has twice received the coveted Oscar in Agriculture, for the best television farm programming in the nation. He serves on several committees, including the N.D. Stockmen’s Association, the N.D. Gelbvieh Association and the Bismarck/Mandan Chamber of Commerce. Al and his wife, Peggy, have three daughters and five grandchildren.

Alfred Black was a soil scientist for the USDA for 40 years and from 1979 to 1993, the Director of the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan, N.D. He was the inspiration and founder of the Area 4 SCD Cooperative Research Farm, which has been supporting ND farmers with field-sized research, in Mandan, for 30 years. He was a leading researcher, providing information about crop residue management for improving water conservation, crop water-use efficiencies and controlling soil erosion. He was recognized nationally and internationally, as a leading expert in dry land agriculture, and consulted not only throughout the US, but also in the former USSR, Australia, Canada and India. He received awards from numerous organizations, including the N.D. Wheat Producers Association, Prairie Chapter of NAMA, the N.D. Association of Soil Conservation Districts, USDA Certificates of Merit for Special Services and Fellow Awards from the International Soil and Water Conservation Society and American Society of Agronomy. Al passed away in July of 2013, in Colorado; he is survived by his wife Jerry and two daughters.

The recognition ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 1:45 p.m. and will be held in the Main Arena of the North Dakota Winter Show Event Center, in Valley City, N.D. The 77th Annual North Dakota Winter Show is scheduled for March 4-9, 2014. For additional information, contact the NDWS office, at 1-800-437-0218, or view the website at