22nd Annual Aldrich C. Bloomquist Lectureship – April 16 in Fargo

Farm Forum

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, will be the featured speaker at the 22nd annual Aldrich C. Bloomquist Lectureship on Wednesday, April 16, at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo, N.D.

The lectureship is sponsored by the North Dakota State University Quentin N. Burdick Center for Cooperatives and Aldrich C. Bloomquist Endowment, which was established by the American Crystal Sugar Co.

The theme of Johnson’s speech is “Farmers Union Cooperatives – Staying Power for Rural America,” according to Gregory McKee, director of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives and host of the event.

Johnson was elected as the National Farmers Union’s 14th president during the organization’s 107th convention in 2009.

Prior to leading the farm organization, Johnson, a third-generation family farmer from Turtle Lake, served as North Dakota agriculture commissioner, a position he was first elected to in 1996. While agriculture commissioner, Johnson served on the State Industrial Commission, North Dakota Trade Office Advisory Board, and State Board of Agricultural Research and Education, among many other boards and commissions.

From 2007 to 2008, Johnson served as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). As NASDA president, he played a key role in crafting the 2008 farm bill by pressing for provisions that benefit agricultural producers, such as a permanent disaster program, ending the ban on interstate shipment of state-inspected meat, rebalancing of loan rates for program crops and farm-based renewable energy. Johnson was chairman of NASDA’s Rural Development and Financial Security Committee from 2000 to 2007.

Johnson is a past president of the Midwestern Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the Food Export Association of the Midwest, and a former chairman of the Interstate Pest Control Compact.

Johnson graduated from NDSU with a degree in agricultural economics.

This lectureship will be held at 7 a.m. in the Crystal Ballroom, with a breakfast served at no charge. To reserve a spot, contact McKee at by April 8.

Bloomquist was a longtime executive and president of American Crystal Sugar. The lecture series was established in recognition of his contributions to the company and the industry. He died in 2012.

The mission of the Quentin N. Burdick Center for Cooperatives is to conduct, promote and coordinate university education and research on cooperatives to strengthen operations and work toward expanding employment and economic opportunities through cooperatives.