May 20, 2022
Fargo, US 47 F

Wheat Commission administrator to receive honorary doctorate at NDSU commencement

Fargo, N.D., May 12, 2022 – North Dakota Wheat Commission administrator Neal Fisher will receive an honorary doctorate of agriculture during the 2 p.m. ceremony of NDSU commencement on Saturday, May 14, in the Fargodome.

“NDSU is a great place, where educational opportunities and mentor influences helped build skillsets required for a successful career and life in general,” Fisher said. “I am greatly honored to receive this recognition from an institution for which I have such tremendous respect.”

Fisher’s long and distinguished career with the commission has had a dramatic and lasting impact on North Dakota agriculture.

He joined the commission in 1978 as a marketing specialist and rose to be named administrator in 1998. Fisher works directly in export market development, research, quality assurance, transportation, and trade policy to improve global competitiveness of North Dakota wheat producers. He coordinates commission policies and actions on wheat industry issues, and has provided market development and technical assistance services to customers in more than 80 countries for more than four decades.

He is a member of the Joint Trade Policy Committee of the National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates; and the Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

Fisher is an NDSU alumnus, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1973 and master’s degree in 1976, both in agricultural economics.

He also is a member of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute’s Advisory Council and the board of directors of the North Dakota Center for Agricultural Policy and Trade Studies. He previously served on the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education and also served on the NDSU Research Foundation board.

He has been an NDSU Foundation trustee since 2010, serves on the Compensation and Nominating and Governance Committees and is vice chair of the Executive Governing Board.

Fisher regularly gives expert testimony on agricultural policy matters and international trade issues before Congressional committees, USDA, International Trade Commission, U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and the North Dakota Legislature. In addition, he has presented papers and testimony on trade matters before the World Trade Organization, European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, and the International Court of World Trade in New York.

Fisher is a strong proponent of North Dakota’s increasingly diversified agricultural base, comprised primarily of wheat, corn, soybeans and livestock; enterprises that account for nearly 80% of the $10 billion annual value of North Dakota agriculture. A dozen or more high-value specialty crops round out a very important additional 20%.

He continues his interest in the family farming and ranching enterprise near Tappen, North Dakota, where his son Josh is principal owner and operator. Fisher and his wife, Deborah, have three grown children and three grandchildren.

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