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The OPSU campus will be closed on Thursday, June 20th, due to the widespread flooding. Campus will reopen on Monday, June 24th. If you live on campus and experience issues from the flooding, please enter a help ticket. The Physical Plant will not be able to address any issues quickly, but will work to assess and make repairs as they are able.

Dr. Nels Peterson

Professor of Agriculture Education Nels Peterson was born and raised in Turtle Lake, North Dakota on his family’s farm and ranch.

Dr. Nels Peterson

My life’s work now really is these young men and women that I put out as teachers because of the generations they are going to affect long past my time and hopefully not just the Ag Ed majors but the other students that I come in contact with too.

Dr. Nels Peterson

Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree, he taught for two years before returning to the family farm to work with his dad. Following his father’s passing, Dr. Peterson and his wife Kathy bought out the estate and continued to farm for five years until he returned to the classroom to teach at Halliday High School.

In 1994, he was recruited into corporative extension work and took a job in Nelson County, North Dakota and served as the Extension Agent for 15 years focusing on Agricultural, 4-H, and economic development. Nearly each of those years, he was fortunate enough to take students to the National Land and Range Judging Contest in Oklahoma City and almost every trip saw his students walk the stage to receive awards with a national runner-up in 2007. In 2008, Dr. Peterson was the national winner for Outstanding Crop Production Education Programs, a county and regional needs driven agriculture program designed to help crop producers.

Through opportunities presented to him at the national contest in Oklahoma City, Dr. Peterson learned of Panhandle State. He completed his doctorate degree in education in the spring of 2009 and began teaching in Goodwell that very next fall. Throughout his time at the university, he has taught the Agriculture Education courses, Soil Science, Natural Resource Conservation, and Horse Science. He also serves as the Collegiate FFA advisor and the past year he served as the Academic Advisor for the Rodeo team.

Dr. Peterson and his wife have four sons and three grandchildren he loves to spoil. As time allows, the couple has been remodeling their house, and Dr. Peterson has a number of hobbies he enjoys including woodworking, gardening, and reading. He likes taking courses at the college and has taken an art class each semester since 2013. They are also active at the Oslo Lutheran Church.

When Dr. Peterson started at Panhandle State, then President Dr. David Bryant referenced his life work as the President of the University which got Dr. Peterson thinking, “My life’s work now really is these young men and women that I put out as teachers because of the generations they are going to affect long past my time and hopefully not just the Ag Ed majors but the other students that I come in contact with too.”

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