March 16, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WICHITA, Kan. (March 16, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) honored Robert Carlson and Clay Pederson with the award for Meritorious Service to Farmers Union and American Agriculture during its 113th Anniversary Convention this week.

“Both of these men embody much of the best of what American agriculture stands for, and their service to NFU has made this organization and the family farmers and ranchers it represents stronger and more effective,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

The Meritorious Service Awards honor those who have made particularly noteworthy contributions to agriculture, humanity and Farmers Union. This honor is the highest award the NFU Board of Directors can bestow on an individual.

“Honestly, you would be hard pressed to find many individuals as dedicated to the interest of family farmers and ranchers at the national and international levels as Robert Carlson,” said Johnson. “As a lifelong Farmers Union member and a farmer who grew up on the family farm near Glenburn, North Dakota, he has lived the ideals of cooperation, legislation and education his entire life,” added Johnson. A recent quote from Carlson sums it up best: “If we were harvesting or working livestock, we could miss church. But we never missed a Farmers Union meeting, ever.”

The second recipient of the award was Clay Pederson, who is receiving the honor posthumously. “Clay Pederson was the administrative vice president of NFU who oversaw public relations, education, outreach, membership, international affairs, meeting planning and financial objectives for the organization,” said Johnson. “Clay wrote opinion and editorial articles for nearly all of the nation’s top daily newspapers and conducted interviews on broadcast networks, all while doing a fantastic job of explaining the issues facing family farmers and ranchers to the American people,” said Johnson.

Johnson noted that in addition to making an enormous contribution to Farmers Union, he was a dedicated father to Ruth Pederson, Hannah Pederson and Joe Fransen.

Past recipients of the Meritorious Service Award include:

Meritorious Service Award

To Farmers Union and to American Agriculture

2014    Stan Brown

             Don Davis

             Dallas Tonsager

2013    Mel Borton

             Jim Frederickson

2012    Dr. Mary Hendrickson

             Odean Olson

2011    Wes Sims

2010    David J. Frederickson

2008    U.S. Senator Tim Johnson

2007    John Stencel

2006    Vernon Deines (posthumously)

            Gaylord Olson

2005    Carl McIlvain

2003    Leland Swenson

2001    Charlie Nash

            Lee Reese

1999    Frank “Bud” Daniels

1997    Noel K. Estenson

1996    Willie Nelson

1995    Alan Ham

            Alfred Namejunas

            Sherry Parker Leach

1994    Reuben Johnson

            Boyd Munns

            Virgil Thompson

1993    Jack Bill Kelsey

            Gary Lamb

1992    Victor Ray

            Paul Huff

            Dwyte Wilson

            Neil Oxton

1991    Ken Motz

            Harold Dodd

1990    Joseph E. Larson

1989    Quentin Burdick

            Stanley M. Moore

1988    Harold Wright

            Ruth Kobell

            Darrell Moseson

1987    Henri J. Holland

1985    James L. Grahl

1985    Kenneth Holum

1984    George W. Stone

            Charles F. Brannan

            Raymond F. Novak

1983    Robert D. Partridge

1982    Jay Naman

            Ben Radcliffe

1981    J.G. Tvedt

1980    Tony D. Dechant

1979    Gilbert C. Rohde

1978    Milton S. Holtan

            Douglas T. Simpson

            Jesse S. Tuttle

1976    E.W. Smith

1975    Chester A. Grahm

1974    Elton L. Berck

1972    Ann Aragues

            Joseph W. Fichter

            Flossie Harris Nikkel

1970    Angus H. McDonald

1967    J.J. Berg Family

1966    Esther Harbo

            Glenn J. Talbott

1963    Harvey R. Solberg

1960    James G. Patton

1959    Paul W. Opsahl

            K.W. Hones

            Homer Duffy

            D.W. Chapman

1957    Gladys Talbott Edwards

            Lulu Thornbom Evanson

            Mildred K. Stoltz

1955    John Veseky

            Dr. Marion F. Dickinson

            A.W. Ricker

1953    Emil A. Syftestad

1952    J.M. Graves

1950    C.E. Huff

1948    M.W. Thatcher


Meritorious Service Award

To Agriculture and to World Agriculture


2011    Sen. Byron Dorgan

2010    Dr. Daryll T. Ray

2008    Alan Bergman

2006    Dr. William Heffernan

2003    Paul Wellstone (posthumously)

1995    Bob Bergland

1991    Jim Hightower

1990    Glenn Flaten

1989    Cy Carpenter

1987    Milton D. Hakel

1980    Tony T. Dechant

1979    Frank L. Goffio

1971    Roger Savary

1969    Fred V. Heinkel

1968    Frank Carlson

Ovid A. Martin

1967    George McGovern

1965    Hubert Humphrey

1964    Elizabeth B. Herring

Averell Harriman

1963    Homer Brinkley

1962    Orvill L. Freeman

1960    B.R. Sen

1958    Harry S. Truman

1956    Sir James Turner

1954    Norris E. Dodd

1952    Lord John Boyd Orr

1951    Clyde Ellis

1950    Charles F. Brannan

1949    Mrs. Dora B. Haines

1948    Rt. Rev. Msgr. Luigi Ligutti

1946    Chester Bowles

Meritorious Service Award To Humanity


2012     Howard G. Buffett

2010     Robert Dole

2007     Robert G. Lewis

2005     Tom Daschle

2003     George McGovern

1992     Jimmy Carter

1986     James G. Patton

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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