News Release

Four Outstanding Alumni Recognized with Top Aggie Award during Northwest School of Agriculture Reunion held June 25 - 26, 2010

By ltollefs on
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Northwest School of Agriculture welcomed Alumni back to the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus on Friday and Saturday, June 25-26, for their annual reunion. Four exceptional alumni were honored with the Top Aggie award, which is the highest honor a Northwest School alumnus can receive. The award recognizes alumni who have displayed exemplary commitment and service to community, church, education, family, or in their occupational field. The Top Aggies for 2010 are Clifford Steinhauer, '48, Thief River Falls, Minn; Terry and Bette (Hovet) Nelson, '60, The Dalles, Ore. ; and Terry Stadstad, '60, Grand Forks, N.D.

The NWSA was a residential high school located on the Crookston campus from 1906-68. The reunion weekend is planned by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations in cooperation with the NWSA Alumni Association board and is always held the last weekend in June.

Honorees for 2010 include:

Clifford Steinhauer 9657.jpgClifford Steinhauer, '48

After graduating from the Northwest School of Agriculture, Clifford Steinhauer, photo at left, enlisted in the Air Force, and following his service, attended the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.  After marrying wife, Marjorie Landin, in 1956, they have farmed north of Thief River Falls, Minn., ever since.
Over the years, Steinhauer has been involved in several research projects promoting the Attwater Prairie Chicken in Texas and received a Friends of the Prairie Chicken award from the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society in 2000. He was also a member of the Agassiz Audubon Chapter which operates the Wetlands Pine to Prairie Sanctuary, and received two conservation development awards from Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District in 1988 and again in 2002.
In 2008, Clifford Steinhauer was honored with the Presidents Volunteer Service award for searching for federal endangered flower species and other volunteer projects. He has been on the Holt Township Board for 16 years and served as a Sunday School teacher and trustee for Nazareth Church in Holt.

Terry and Bette (Hovet) Nelson, '60

After graduating from the NWSA, Bette (Hovet) Nelson, '60, photo right, went on to earn her degree as aTerry-Bette Nelson 9665.jpg registered nurse, while Terry worked on his uncle's farm. After the couple was married, he was employed in the local bank. The couple went on to purchase a roofing company in The Dalles, Ore., using the skills gained as a farmer, a banker and a salesman to help shape this new experience.

Over time, the Nelson's roofing company would grow from one location to three. In 2008 Bette and Terry sold their business and retired, but their son continues his involvement in the company, and Terry still serves as a consultant.

Bette and Terry agree they learned responsibility and independence at the Northwest School of Agriculture and that living right on campus like college students provided them with an important foundation.

Terry Stadstad, '60

After graduation, Terry Stadstad, '60, photo below, enlisted in the Navy and after four years of active duty, he moved to North Dakota to farm and married his wife, Muriel Fee.  In 1967, after the harvest was completed, Stadstad applied to work in Santa Fe Ski basin in New Mexico as a ski patrolman, and eventually went on to become a certified instructor. Terry and Muriel worked as part of the management team there for six years. In the early 1970's, the Stadstad's took over the family farm when Terry's father retired, raising sugar beets, wheat, malting barley, pinto beans, soybeans, and sunflowers. Today, the farming operation is in the hands of the Terry and Muriel's son, Wade.

Terry Stadstad 9636.jpgIn 1976, Stadstad served on a steering committee to start an oil co-op in Manvel, N.D. He also served on the board of the Manvel Union Elevator for a number of years, where Stadstad spent two years as chairman. He was a member of the Grand Forks County Fair Board and also served on the race committee for the Grand Forks Country Race Track. Stadstad also served for 12 years on the American Crystal Sugar Company (ACSC) board of directors and represented ACSC for five years on the executive board of the Pro Gold Corn Plant in Whapeton, N.D.

Currently Terry Stadstad is serving on an advisory board for Frandsen Bank and Trust and is the agricultural representative for six of their area banks. He was a board member of the Rye School District #25 for five years, has been on the Middle Grove Lutheran Church Council for thirty five years, and served as president for twenty five of those years.

The NWSA alumni reunion, first held in 1918, brings back alumni from the Northwest School of Agriculture, a residential high school located on what is now the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus. The NWSA opened its doors in 1906 and graduated its first class of 8 students in 1909. The campus educated students for 60 years, and during its last two years of operation, the campus transitioned to a two-year technical college, known as the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical Institute. In 1993, the campus transitioned again to offer baccalaureate degrees and became the first-ever laptop university in the nation.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit