FARGO, North Dakota — A building complex to merge several of North Dakota State University's agricultural programs into one site will bear the name of the Peltier family, one of the area’s best known farm family names.

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education approved the naming of North Dakota State University’s Agricultural Products Development Center at its Thursday, Sept. 30, meeting.

The new complex will be a “fantastic addition to North Dakota agriculture,” Keith Peltier president and general manager of Proseed and NDSU alumni, said in an interview Thursday. It will allow the state “to be able to promote their products both nationwide and worldwide.”

The Peltier family made philanthropic gifts to support the private fundraising portion of the project, which partnered with the North Dakota Legislature to pay for construction.

The new complex will promote NDSU ag programs “like the Fargodome is used to recruit great guys into NDSU athletics,” Peltier said.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The “Peltier Complex” will be NDSU’s largest academic facility and honors one of the region’s most long-standing supporters of teaching, research, and extension in agriculture, the NDSU Foundation said in a news release.

Keith Peltier, a cousin and childhood friend of Gov. Doug Burgum, is seen Friday, Jan. 24, at Proseed of Amenia, N.D., where he is the president and general manager. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Keith Peltier, a cousin and childhood friend of Gov. Doug Burgum, is seen Friday, Jan. 24, at Proseed of Amenia, N.D., where he is the president and general manager. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Keith Peltier, an NDSU Foundation Trustee and Executive Governing Board member, and his wife, Cathy Peltier, are serving as campaign ambassadors for In Our Hands: The $400 Million Campaign for North Dakota State University that has now raised more than $440 million.

The Peltier Complex will join NDSU’s food science, meat science, and cereal science laboratories, along with the Northern Crops Institute, a four-state-focused agency committed to promoting, developing, and marketing crops grown in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana. It will be built in the southwest corner of NDSU’s campus.

A groundbreaking and naming ceremony for the Peltier Complex will be held Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at 2 p.m. on the second floor of the NDSU Wallman Wellness Center, which overlooks the future building site.

Keith Peltier inherited a legacy of promoting agriculture from his father, Joe, a 1951 NDSU graduate.

Joe Peltier was in the elevator business for nearly 50 years and held several positions with Arthur Farmers Elevator/Arthur Companies including general manager and vice president. He was chairman of the North Dakota Crop Improvement Association from 1958-1964 and was the first chairman of the North Dakota Sunflower Council and served in the state Legislature and on the State Board of Higher Education from 1993-2000.

Joe and Norma Peltier were married for 61 years and supported NDSU and its continued success for decades.

“It’s fantastic that we can put the Peltier name on this building given the family’s history with the institution and their support of NDSU agriculture,” Greg Lardy, NDSU’s vice president for agricultural affairs, said in a news release. “Joe Peltier was active with a variety of agricultural research programs and supporting those in a number of ways, and his family has continued to carry on that legacy.”

Joe was also active in the creation of the NCI in the late-1970s and early-1980s and would often host trade groups at the elevator when they came to the Institute. Keith served on the Northern Crops Council, the governing board for NCI, for six years.

“The Peltiers have been longtime leaders in agriculture in the region, and NCI is no exception,” Mark Jirik, NCI director, said in a release. “They have provided leadership, guidance, and program support to NCI since its founding. Having the Peltier name on this facility is a perfect fit.”

North Dakota State University Students working in a meat lab on the campus. 
Contributed
North Dakota State University Students working in a meat lab on the campus. Contributed

The North Dakota Legislature approved $70 million for the completion of the facility and authorized an additional $15 million in fundraising.

“The Peltier family has a lasting legacy of philanthropic impact on our students, faculty, and programs in agriculture, athletics, and the arts, and now, we are honored to put their name on a campus building that will change the future of agriculture education, research, and service,” John Glover, NDSU Foundation president and CEO, said in a release. “We are so grateful to the entire Peltier family and their commitment to NDSU, the In Our Hands campaign and our collective future.”

The Peltier family’s NDSU legacy goes all the way back to NDSU’s early days. Joe’s maternal grandmother, Jessamine Slaughter Burgum, was the first female student at NDSU (then NDAC). His mother, Marjorie Burgum Peltier, continued her education at NDSU, and all of Joe’s children, Keith ’75, Jeff ’76, Suzette ’79, and Betty-Jo ’83, are alumni.

“The Peltier family has been an integral part of the history of NDSU and agriculture in the state,” NDSU President Dean Bresciani said. “From farming, to the seed business, to grain elevators, to serving on commodities boards in the state, the family is uniquely aware of the critical role NDSU’s College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources plays in our state, the nation, and the world.”