Montana State University

Northern Ag Research Center building to be named in honor of Gregg Carlson

March 11, 2015 -- MSU News Service

The Northern Agricultural Research Center’s office/lab building will be named the Gregg R. Carlson Agricultural Science Center in honor of Gregg Carlson, the retired agronomist and superintendent of the center. Photo courtesy of the Northern Agricultural Research Center.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Gregg Carlson, the retired agronomist and superintendent of the Northern Agricultural Research Center outside of Havre, will have the center’s office/lab building named in his honor for his significant contributions to agriculture along the Hi-Line.

The Montana Board of Regents unanimously approved the naming of the Gregg R. Carlson Agricultural Science Center at its regular meeting in Helena on Friday. The Northern Agricultural Research Center is one of seven centers under the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, which is part of Montana State University.  

Carlson, an associate professor of agronomy at MSU, served Montana’s agricultural producers for 42 years before retiring from his post as the center’s agronomist and superintendent in 2010 following injuries from an accident.

He is credited with encouraging the widespread adoption of no-till farming in northern Montana, which significantly reduced the amount of soil erosion and improved water quality and the productivity of farmers’ fields. Carlson also worked with the first GPS system in Montana on harvest, seeding and fertilizer placement. The use of GPS in agriculture is now considered a nearly indispensable tool.

Among his many other contributions was his pioneering work on the importance of placing seeds and fertilizer in the most beneficial relationship to each other for the best growth of plants. Carlson accomplished this through collaborative research with manufacturers and engineers of seeding and fertilizer equipment.

In a letter of support from all 23 members of the center’s advisory council, Carlson was described as “a visionary beyond his years” and “a great inspiration to many in the agriculture, research and business communities of our region, and to even more to the public at large with no particular tie to NARC.”      

Carlson was considered a great and dedicated researcher because he “thought about every field in Montana as his own” and wanted the very best for each grower, the members of the center’s advisory council wrote. He would frequently reply to agricultural producers’ questions with detailed emails written well after midnight, such was his dedication to the industry.

This summer, the center will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a formal naming ceremony of the Gregg R. Carlson Agricultural Science Center.

Contact: Anne Cantrell, (406) 994-4902 or anne.cantrell@montana.edu