Offutt receives North Dakota's Rough Rider Award
FARGO - Agribusiness magnate Ronald D. Offutt is the latest recipient of North Dakota's highest honor. Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented Offutt, chairman and founder of RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Co., with the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Aw...
FARGO - Agribusiness magnate Ronald D. Offutt is the latest recipient of North Dakota's highest honor.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented Offutt, chairman and founder of RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Co., with the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award Thursday during the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting in Fargo.
The award is given to individuals who have achieved national recognition in their fields of endeavor, thereby reflecting credit and honor upon the state and its residents, according to state statute.
"The Rough Rider Award is a phenomenal award, and I'm humbled and honored to be part of that group," Offutt said.
Offutt is the 38th North Dakotan to receive the honor. Past recipients include baseball legend Roger Maris, entertainer Lawrence Welk, author Louis L'Amour, entrepreneur and philanthropist Doug Burgum, former Forum publisher William C. Marcil, and entrepreneur Harold Schafer.
Offutt was unaware he was receiving the Rough Rider Award, which took him by surprise, he said.
The Chamber also presented Offutt with the 2011 Legacy Leader Award, which recognizes and emphasizes the important role and contributions of long-time local leaders in shaping and serving the metropolitan community and region.
After receiving that award, Dalrymple took the stage to present the famous bust of Roosevelt and a portrait of Offutt that will hang at the state Capitol building.
"You are being honored today for all that you have done for our great state," Dalrymple said. "You are highly respected for all of your philanthropic and civic commitments."
Offutt is a 1960 graduate of Moorhead High School and a 1964 Concordia College graduate. He served on the college's Board of Regents for 20 years before retiring last fall.
In September 2010, Offutt was the lead contributor in a $50 million fundraising campaign for Concordia's new Offutt School of Business, scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.
Offutt's companies employ more than 3,000 people nationwide.
RDO Equipment Co. is the largest network of John Deere construction and agriculture equipment dealerships in the United States, with more than 60 stores in nine states. R.D. Offutt Co. is the nation's largest producer of potatoes.
Past Rough Rider Award recipients
Aug. 28, 1961
Nov. 2, 1961
Ivan DmitriartistApril 13, 1962
Roger MarisathleteJan. 4, 1964
Eric SevareidjournalistApril 17, 1964
Gen. Harold K. Johnsonmilitary serviceApril 23, 1965
Dr. Anne H. CarlseneducatorSept. 9, 1966
Edward K. ThompsonjournalistApril 19, 1968
Dr. Robert Henry BahmerarchivingJuly 28, 1970
Louis L'AmourauthorMay 26, 1972
Bertin C. GambleentrepreneurOct. 20, 1972
Casper OimoenathleteFeb. 12, 1973
Peggy Leeentertainer.May 23, 1975
Harold SchaferentrepreneurJuly 4, 1975
Era Bell ThompsonjournalistAug. 14, 1976
Dr. Leon Orris JacobsonphysicianOct. 1, 1976
Elizabeth BodinehumanitarianJuly 27, 1979
Phyllis FrelichactressApril 27, 1981
Cliff "Fido" PurpurathleteMay 16, 1981
Gen. David C. Jonesmlitary serviceMay 21, 1982
Ronald N. DaviesjudgeJune 11, 1987
Phil JacksonathleteJuly 30, 1992
Larry WoiwodeauthorOct. 23, 1992
Angie DickinsonactressDec. 2, 1992
Rev. Richard C. Halverson ministerMarch 26, 1994
Brynhild HauglandlegislatorMarch 20, 1995
Adm. William A. Owensmilitary serviceJan. 29, 1996
Carl Ben Eielsonpioneer aviatorAug. 26, 1997
Warren Christopherpublic serviceJune 20, 1998
Bobby VeeentertainerJune 20, 1999
Chester "Chet" ReitenentrepreneurOct. 8, 2002
Thomas J. CliffordentrepreneurNov. 23, 2002
Sister Thomas WeldereducatorMay 1, 2004
Harry J. Pearcebusiness leaderAug. 11, 2004
William C. Marcilbusiness leaderMay 18, 2006
Master Sgt. Woodrow Wilson Keeblemilitary serviceJuly 23, 2008
Doug Burgumentrepreneur, philanthropistNov. 20, 2009
Ron D. Offuttbusiness leader, philanthropistSept. 15, 2011
Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511