Distinguished Alumnus 1997
Dr. Laddie J. Elling


"Medicine, education, research benefit from accomplishments of Cameron grads"
From the Fall 1997 Cameron Today

Dr. Laddie J. Elling was born in 1917 in Lawton and graduated from Cache High School.

He was Cameron's Outstanding Agriculture Student in 1937, the year he received an associate degree in agriculture. Elling was a member of Cameron's Aggie Club, Phi Theta Kappa and YMCA/YWCA. As president of YMCA/YWCA, he remembers leading members to Douglas High School to meet with students and parents in 1937.

Elling received his bachelors from Oklahoma A&M and his masters and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941, training as an airplane mechanic and later attended Officers Candidate School. He served in 19 countries, attaining the rank of captain with the 320th Bombardment Group _ the only Allied unit decorated twice with the Croix deGuerre. He twice received the Presidential Citation.

His civilian career has been in education, research, Extension work and community involvement. He returned to the University of Minnesota in 1946 as a research assistant and taught there until retiring as professor emeritus in December 1985. He taught courses in plant breeding, crop production, and crop identification, coached the intercollegiate crops team and advised and assisted the Plant Industry Club.

Those who know him say he can be characterized by his interest in youth in the community, church and university. Many of those he influenced attained their Ph.Ds or made significant achievements in the commercial world.

In research, he organized and led the Alfalfa Improvement Project from 1947-1965. It is now the leading alfalfa project in the U.S. under the leadership of one of his students. Elling developed and led the Grass-Legume Seed Production Research Project in northern Minnesota, 1965-1986, developing techniques and practices for working with nine or more species.

He resides in St. Paul, Minn., and has been active in the Methodist Church, serving as lay leader, teacher, chairman of the official board and president of its men's club.

He has been involved in numerous community organizations, including the YMCA and Torch International. Professional memberships include the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America.

Elling's honors include induction into the Red River Valley Winter Shows Hall of Fame for dedication and service to northern Minnesota agriculture. He is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America.

Among Elling's relatives who attended Cameron, are two brothers, a sister and several nieces and nephews.