News Release

Top Aggies Honored at 2011 Northwest School of Agriculture Reunion held recently at the U of M Crookston

By ltollefs on
Monday, June 27, 2011

Alumni from the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) came back for their annual Top Aggies 2011 0145.jpgreunion on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Recipients of the Top Aggie award were honored at the reunion during a noon luncheon held in Brown dining room. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by alumni over a lifetime, and is the highest award given by the Northwest School of Agriculture Alumni Association.

This year's Top Aggies are Allen '51 and Lorraine (Zipoy) '54 Love, East Grand Forks, Minn.; Dell Christianson '56, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; David Eblen '56, Fargo, N.D.; and Adrian Van Dellen '61, Woodville, Texas. They join the more than 135 alumni and staff who have been recognized with the award since 1970.

Allen '51 and Lorraine (Zippoy) Love '54 were both very active students at the NWSA and continued the habit throughout their lives, serving on numerous boards within their community. Together they established Love Farms where Allen served as president and Lorraine as secretary and treasurer. The Loves have also served on the NWSA Board, assisting with the Class of 1954 reunions and coordination of the annual NWSA Arizona Social held in February. The couple currently resides in East Grand Forks, Minn., where they are active members in their religious community.

Dell Christainson '56 went on to serve in the United States Peace Corps after graduating from the Northwest School of Agriculture. After his return, Christianson earned a Master of Science degree in agriculture and applied science and an adult agriculture education certification from the University of Minnesota. He taught specialty crops management and a veterans farm management program before retiring in 2000. He went on to found a specialty crops consulting business called Sustainable Ag Solutions LLC which he now operates with his son. He currently resides in Detroit Lakes, Minn., where he is an active member of the community.

David Eblen '56 farmed for 40 years after graduating from the Northwest School of Agriculture. He was also an active member of numerous agricultural boards throughout the Midwest, including the North Dakota Farmers Union State Board. In 1993, Eblen made a lifestyle change and was ordained a permanent deacon of the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Fargo, N.D. He served as a deacon at St. Rose of Lima parish in Hillsboro, N.D., and at St. Anne & Joachim parish in Fargo, and has also served on numerous boards and committees throughout the diocese.

Adrian Van Dellen '61 went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Science with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) after graduating from the Northwest School of Agriculture. In 1969, Van Dellen entered the USAF Veterinary Corp where he served for 23 years and completed a residency in Zoonotic Disease Pathology. Later, he fell in love with the Piney Woods in Texas where he has lived since 1994. After retiring, Van Dellen took an active role in the Texas Conservation Alliance where he currently serves as the group's conservation chairperson.

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 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and nearly 40 concentrations, including seven online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,450 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, 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

In the photo: Top Aggies 2011, back row (l to r): Director of Development Corby Kemmer, David Eblen, Del Christianson, Chancellor Casey. Front row: Allen Love, Lorraine Love, Adrian Adrian F. Van Dellen