Legacy family benefactors establish named vice president for agriculture endowment

Fargo, N.D. — The North Dakota State University Foundation is proud to announce a new endowment to establish the Joe and Norma Peltier Vice President for Agriculture.

Greg Lardy, vice president for agriculture, will be the inaugural holder of the endowment. A special medallion ceremony celebrating the Peltier family and Greg will occur during the NDSU Foundation’s Evening of Distinction event on April 25.

“The Peltier family is passionate about NDSU and all that it offers in educating students, conducting world-class research, and serving our communities, state, and beyond,” NDSU President Dave Cook said. “This investment will be a catalyst in providing flexible funding for agricultural initiatives that are key for our University and state.”

The establishment of the Joe and Norma Peltier Vice President for Agriculture endowment is the second of its kind at NDSU. In 2017, Ron and Kaye Olson established the named dean of the College of Business endowment. Dr. Kathryn Birkeland currently holds the title of Ronald G. and Kaye S. Olson Dean of the College of Business. One of the NDSU Foundation’s funding priorities is to establish named deanships or administrative positions for key leadership roles on campus.

“I am thrilled to be named the inaugural holder of the Joe and Norma Peltier Vice President for Agriculture endowed position at NDSU,” Greg said. “The Peltier family name is intricately linked with NDSU agriculture, and I am privileged to hold this endowed position named in their honor. The earnings from the endowment will further our work within NDSU agriculture as we seek to grow the impact that we can make with our teaching, research, and Extension programs that are so vital to the state of North Dakota and its agricultural industry.”

The late Joe and Norma Peltier were longtime benefactors and passionate supporters of higher education in North Dakota. Their legacy of involvement and support continues to this day through their four children and extended families. The family traces its NDSU roots back to the University’s founding and first class of students. Jessamine Slaughter Burgum was the first female student to attend what was the North Dakota Agriculture College, now NDSU. She was Joe’s grandmother.

Norma, who was born in Halstad, Minnesota, grew up on a farm in Grandin, North Dakota, and spent much of her life in agriculture. She earned her teaching degree and was employed at elementary schools in Clearbrook, Minnesota, and Kindred, North Dakota, until she married Joe Peltier.

Joe was a 1951 NDSU graduate in math and education. After two years working in U.S. Army counterintelligence in Pennsylvania, Joe returned to Arthur, North Dakota, and grew the family farm and associated businesses. He became an influential leader in North Dakota agriculture and in service to his community, region, and state.

Norma and Joe’s children, Keith Peltier, Jeff Peltier, Suzette Peltier, and Betty-Jo Peltier Wilson, each graduated from NDSU, as did many of their grandchildren.

Supporting NDSU is a tradition that started early for the Peltier family. Norma and Joe’s longstanding dedication to NDSU academics and athletics has included the Peltier Endowment for Innovation in Teaching, Don Larew Scholarship, Jessamine Slaughter Burgum Scholarship, Joe Peltier Award for Risk Management, and the Peltier Complex, a state-of-the-art agriculture facility opening this summer.

“With all their dedication to higher education, Mom and Dad would be proud to see this come to fruition,” Jeff Peltier said, on behalf of the family.

Named endowments such as the Joe and Norma Peltier Vice President for Agriculture provide strategic, perpetual funding for the holder of the position. The dollars can be used in several areas, including scholarships, staffing and faculty support, research equipment, or other priorities for the program. “We are grateful to the Peltier family for once again demonstrating their belief and confidence in NDSU and what it offers to the state and world,” NDSU Foundation President/CEO John Glover said. “Transformative endowments like these really make a difference for the programs they support, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes produced from the investments made in agriculture.”

The endowment’s principal is commingled with other endowed assets of the NDSU Foundation to generate annual earnings for spending. Four percent of the earnings are made available each year. The Foundation’s overall endowment was valued at $464.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2023. More than 99% of the endowed funds are designated according to donor intent.


The NDSU Foundation builds enduring relationships that maximize advocacy and philanthropy to support North Dakota State University.


Bethany Hardwig 
Vice President of Alumni and Donor Connections 
NDSU Foundation