Groundbreakers: Early Agricultural Scientists & Engineers of SDSU

Four men arrived at South Dakota State University to expand the world of knowledge. Discover the explorers, innovators, and artists whose work continues to impact South Dakota and beyond.

Neils E. Hansen: The Indiana Jones of Plant Science, he traveled Russia and Asia to find fruit and fauna for the farmers of South Dakota and the Upper Plains. He brought back Yellow and Blue Flower alfalfa.

Joseph Hutton: A photographer, poet, political activist, but above all, a soil scientist. He predicted the Dust Bowl of the 1930s twenty years before it happened. He championed for soil conservation and was the first to do the soil survey of South Dakota.

Ralph Patty: He took an ancient form of architecture, rammed earth, and scientifically studied it so that farmers could build sustainable, affordable, barns that saved the lives of poultry. His research influenced rammed architecture in America, Africa, and Australia.

Halvor Solberg: A Norwegian immigrant carpenter came to SDSU to study and became the founding father of Engineering at SDSU. He developed the Steam Engineering Short Course for farmers to learn how to use steam engines to combat the number of accidents. It was replicated across land-grant colleges nationwide.

James Wilson, Jr: Head of the College of Agriculture and Animal Scientist, he solicited the best and brightest to this young college to strive for excellence where anything was possible.

Open November 16, 2017 – August 2019

We would like to thank…

Exhibit Sponsors:

South Dakota Crop Improvement Association

Forest Products Supply, Inc, Maplewood, MN

as well as the following people for their assistance with this exhibit…

Paige Barthel

Julia Bodnaruk

Emily Braun

Dr. Steve Burroughs

Aaron Cooley

Diane Drake

Jerry Graslie

Kathy Gustafson

Cable Harding

Dan Humberg

John Jacobson

Fatima Javid

Kent Jensen

Al Johnson

Kevin Kephart

Asia Lores

Wyeth Lynch

Doug Malo

Mike Monnens

Mike Mueller

Viraj Patel

Jean Pedersen

Serhiy Potepenko

Will Prigge

David Ramirez

Conrad Solberg

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

Luke Weber