A Volunteer Leading by Example

Mike Krueger is the recipient of the 2022 Service Award, which recognizes individuals who have played a vital role as volunteer fundraisers.

Story by Nicole Thom-Arens | March 29, 2022

Service Award | Mike Krueger | Evening of Distinction 2022 | NDSU Foundation

In 1967, America was racing to the moon, and Mike Krueger ’71 was graduating high school in Jamestown, North Dakota. Mike excelled in math and science, and at the height of the space race, that meant becoming an engineer, which led him to NDSU. He studied engineering for a year but disliked it, so he changed his major to speech education where he became involved in competitive speaking.

Mike volunteered for the Air Force ROTC while at NDSU to help offset tuition costs. After graduation, Mike reported to active duty in the Air Force. He and his wife, Susan (Wall) ’71, moved to his first assignment in upstate New York. Following three years in the Air Force that included stops in Mississippi and Guam, Mike and Susan returned to the Midwest where Mike worked for Cargill from 1974 to 1982.

Mike served in the Air Force for three years.

In 1982, Mike and his family returned to Fargo, North Dakota, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he co-founded Agri-Mark, a grain marketing consulting company that worked with grain elevators and farmers. Agri-Mark eventually added commodity brokerage services for their clients.

“Our job essentially was to keep an eye on worldwide crop production and supply and demand issues related to the major grains and how the U.S. supply and demand for wheat and corn and soybeans would translate into price movements, higher or lower, and then we would advise our farmer clients,” Mike explained.

Mike and his wife, Susan (Wall) ’71, have travelled extensively.

His work took him around the world. He’s traveled to more than 60 countries and across the U.S. to participate in conferences and seminars about commodity markets and agriculture. In 2002, Mike started The Money Farm. He sold that company in 2016 and is now semi-retired but still does some writing and consulting about commodity markets.

Mike’s volunteer work with NDSU began in the mid-1990s when he served on the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences’ Advisory Board. That led him to the Alumni Association where he served as president of the board of directors in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he became an NDSU Foundation Trustee and served as chair of the Executive Governing Board (EGB) for two years. His time as chair aligned with the 2019 public launch of In Our Hands: The Campaign for North Dakota State University. Mike knew the NDSU Foundation needed to grow its staff in order to accomplish the initial $400 million campaign goal.
Mike spoke at the public launch of the In Our Hands campaign in 2019.

“I think one of the important contributions I made during my time on EGB and as chair was promoting the growth aspect the organization needed to do — not only among the Executive Governing Board but among the Trustees in general — and to work with other EGB members and committee chairs and staff to figure out a way to expand budgets, to hire more people, to keep our budget in the black, and to finally make this campaign as successful as it was,” Mike said.

As a volunteer fundraiser, Mike urged other benefactors to invest in the campaign by sharing his own stories of philanthropy.

“I think it’s important to set an example by giving what you can in your own right,” Mike said. “It’s tough to go and talk to people about NDSU fundraising if you haven’t participated in your own way.”

Mike continues to be an involved Trustee for the NDSU Foundation by serving on the investment and nominating and governance committees.