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Jerry Kruger, Warren, Minn., Recognized for Service to the University of Minnesota
May 13, 2009

Contact: Charla Hollingsworth, Ph.D., NWROC, 218-281-8627 (; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

The Plant Pathology Department at the University of Minnesota recently named Jerry
Jerry Kruger
Jerry Kruger
Kruger, Warren, Minn., a 2009 Friend of the Department. The award recognizes an individual’s service to the University and support of plant pathology. An awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, on the U of M, St. Paul campus.

Kruger has been a steadfast supporter of research particularly in areas focused on disease management since 1981 when he was elected to serve on the Wheat Council. He, along with others, lobbied for reoccurring state monies in support of Fusarium head blight (FHB) research. Through his work, Kruger became well acquainted with leadership at the U of M as well as the State Capitol.  From these efforts, the State Scab Initiative was established.  This Initiative has been instrumental in supporting research within the Department of Plant Pathology and elsewhere.  Recently renamed the Small Grains Initiative, the fund provides salary support for Department scientists and is awarded competitively to support specific research projects.

In the fall of 1992, Jerry worked with Roger Jones, Ph.D., from the U of M, Dept. of Plant Pathology and Marcia McMullen, Ph.D., from the North Dakota State University Department of Plant Pathology to create and organize the First International Scab Forum.  Researchers from South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba were invited to participate.  This effort continues on an annual basis by the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.

“This award recognizes Kruger for his service, vision, and leadership to the wheat industry, and in particular, for his leadership in supporting and securing funding for wheat disease research,” says Carol Ishimaru, Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Plant Pathology. “Through his dedication and vision, he has truly been a friend of the Department of Plant Pathology.”

Kruger owns and operates a diversified farm in northwestern Minnesota, raising wheat, soybeans, canola and sunflowers. He also is serves on the Research and Technology Transfer Committee for the soybean commodity.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit