Dr. Myron Dale Johnsrud, 90, known for his remarkable contributions to the field of agricultural education and extension, peacefully passed away on January 26, 2024, at Bethany on 42nd, Fargo, ND. Born on September 9, 1933, in Watford City, North Dakota, Myron was the beloved son of John and Alice (Nelson) Johnsrud.
Myron grew up and graduated from Watford City High School. He attended NDSU in Fargo where he met and married the love of his life, Muriel Olson, on August 2, 1954, in Fargo, ND. Together, they built a life centered around love, dedication, and shared values.
Educationally ambitious, he earned a BS degree from NDSU in 1957 following a military duty where he became a fighter jet pilot in the Air Force and later flew with the "Happy Hooligans" with North Dakota National Guard. For the next eight years he was a partner in a grain and livestock farm in McKenzie County before joining the staff of the NDSU Extension Service as an assistant county agent.
He returned to college to complete a masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating in 1969, returned to the NDSU Extension Service as director of program and staff development.
From 1971 until 1973 he served at the national level as a director of staff development for the Extension Service-USDA, Washington DC. Myron was appointed the associate director of the NDSU Extension Service in 1973 and became the director the following year.
He served as the director of the NDSU Extension Service for twelve years before being appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture as administrator of the Extension Servicel-USDA, a position he held for seven years. Following the end of the cold war era, Johnsrud was commissioned by Secretary of Agriculture to establish the first major adult education program in Poland on managing agribusiness firms and farms in a market-driven economy.
Heralded by the President of Poland as a very successful program, this model was conducted in several republics of the former USSR. He ended his Extension career in 2002 after nine years as director of extension and outreach with the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.
Myron has received many awards including: Meritorious Executive Award from President George H. Bush, induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, NDSU Outstanding Alumni Award, NDSU Harvest Bowl Agri-business Award, an honorary Doctors Degree from NDSU, and member of the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
Mvron and Muriel were avid NDSU Bison supporters and active members of Messiah Lutheran Church. When he was not working, Myron enjoyed his time at Pelican Lake with friends and his family.
Myron loved projects and was instrumental in spearheading major improvements to the State 4-H Camp near Washburn which reflects the support of youth programs by Myron and the Johnsrud family. Myron is survived by his loving children: Mark (Maribeth), daughter Michelle: five grandchildren: Jennifer (John) Stubbs, Pam (Kyle) Thorson, Janna (Alex) Guetter, Nikki (Chris) Armstrong, Alicia Everding; seven great-grandchildren; brother, Merton (Karen) Johnsrud and sister-in-law, Bonnie Johnsrud.
Myron was preceded in death by his wife, Muriel; his parents, John and Alice Johnsrud; and brother, Douglas Johnsrud. A memorial service will be held this summer (TBD) at Zion Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids, MN.
Memorials preferred to NDSU 4-H Foundation and Zion Lutheran Church. Arrangements by Larson Funeral and Cremation Service.
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