Inductees selected for the 2018 ND Agriculture Hall of Fame

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North Dakota Winter Show

Since the establishment of the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1997, selected nominees are inducted into the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame during the annual North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City. The individuals selected for induction this year are James Marshall Sr., of Oriska, N.D., and George Rogler, of Mandan, N.D.

James Marshall Sr. was born on his grandfather’s homestead near Oriska, N.D., on July 28, 1925. He attended the Noltimier Consolidated School and graduated in 1943. When his father retired from farming in 1946, James took over the family farm. In 1955, he married Leona Lux from Verona, N.D., and they made their home on the family farm along with their six children: James Jr., Rob, Jay, Lee, Curt, and Janice. They also have nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Marshall spent his entire life on the family farm, where he and his family have been breeders for over 70 years raising purebred Columbia and Suffolk sheep under his guidance. Farming and livestock were a big part of Marshall’s life and he worked to dedicate his farmstead to the betterment of the ag industry.

Marshall was a leader in the industry, organizing the original North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association and serving as its first President. He helped organize the state ram sales, the sheep show at the North Dakota State Fair, as well as starting and managing the sheep show at the North Dakota Winter Show where he was awarded special recognition for his contributions. Additionally, Marshall was the founding father of the Columbia Sheep Breeder Association, with Marshall genetics being the basis for many sheep flocks throughout the United States.

Marshall was also very involved in his community. He was a 4-H Leader for 26 years, served as the Barnes County Farm Bureau director, and was also a member of the Eagles Aerie #2192. He served on many boards including the North Dakota Winter Show, the Oriska School, the Salem United Methodist Church, the Hillside Cemetery, and the North Dakota Farm Bureau Livestock Advisory Boards. Marshall was awarded the NDSU Saddle & Sirloin Agriculturist of the Year in 1979, and was honored with the Silver Bell Award from the Columbia Sheep Breeders in 1985 where he was also named their Sheepman of the Year.

James Marshall Sr. passed away in 2010 but is truly missed to this day due to his endless hours of volunteering to the sheep and agriculture industries, the youth of 4-H, his community, and the state of North Dakota. The farmstead is still in operation today under the guidance of Marshall’s son, James Marshall Jr., and is where Leona continues to live.

George Rogler was born in Matfield Green, Kan., on April 5, 1913. He attended and graduated from Kansas State University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in agronomy in 1935. He then went on to marry Vera Thompson in Manhattan, Kan., on March 20, 1936. Rogler continued his education at the University of Minnesota, where he received a master of science degree in plant breeding in 1942.

During the 1930’s, the Northern Plains experienced severe drought conditions that caused devastating wind erosion to land plowed for crop production, and very limited improved grasses were available to reseed these damaged lands. Rogler moved to North Dakota in 1936 to develop improved grass cultivars for reseeding these eroded areas as a junior agronomist. In addition to his other duties, he was in charge of large-scale field collections of grass seed and was an advisor to government agencies and private landowners, seeding thousands of acres of western North Dakota back to grass following the drought years, where many of these grass stands are still in production today. In July 1937, he assumed responsibility for a full-time grass breeding program with the Division of Forage Crops and Diseases, and in 1941, his duties were extended to include grazing investigations. Rogler moved progressively through the ranks, becoming an agronomist in 1946, and later reclassified as a research agronomist in 1954.

In 1941, Rogler defined the effect of grazing intensity on animal production per acre, and on gains per head. His research proved the benefits of spring grazing deferment on livestock gains and range condition. Another major accomplishment of his was making the initial selections resulting in the release of Rodan western wheatgrass, named in his honor as a contraction of ‘Rogler’ and ‘Mandan.’ Rodan is the only western wheatgrass developed in North Dakota for its unique climate conditions. Western wheatgrass was then named the North Dakota state grass in 1977. His research took him around the world, including Peru and Brazil and based on his life-long research in North Dakota, he authored and co-authored 90 scientific publications on grass breeding and grassland management.

Rogler was recognized nationally and internationally as being outstanding in the field of grassland management. Because of his thorough understanding of both the livestock industry and the grassland resource, he was often called upon to serve in an advisory capacity on livestock and grassland committees. At the state and local level, he has contributed greatly to the betterment of the livestock industry by sharing his research findings with the public and private rangeland managers. As such, Rogler was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree by North Dakota State University in 1971.

He and his wife Vera enjoyed dancing, particularly ballroom and square dancing. They have two children, Joan and Susan, both of whom are married; five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. After his retirement, the couple traveled extensively to most U.S. states and all continents except Antarctica. Rogler passed away in 2003, but the many practices and grasses he developed are still being used today, and his research efforts have greatly benefitted North Dakota farmers and ranchers for the past 67 years.

Each year, the inductees are selected by the North Dakota Ag Hall of Fame Committee, which is comprised of the following agricultural groups and organizations: North Dakota Lamb & Wool Producers, North Dakota Grain Growers, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, North Dakota Oilseed Council, North Dakota Dept. of Agriculture, North Dakota Pork Producers Council, NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota Vocational Agriculture, North Dakota Winter Show, North Dakota Implement Dealers Association, Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers, Northern Pulse Growers Association and a representative from North Dakota’s farm broadcasters and ag journalists.

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.

This year, the induction ceremony will take place on March 6, at 4:45 p.m., during the Chamber Ag Social being held in the South Exhibit Building of the North Dakota Winter Show Event Center. The ceremony is during the 81st annual North Dakota Winter Show, this year scheduled for March 3-10. For additional information, contact the NDWS office, at 1-800-437-0218, email, or view

George Rogler. Courtesy photo
James Marshall Sr. Courtesy photo