Leslie (Les) Peterson
Leslie (Les) Peterson (B.S. Agricultural Education '50) passed away on April 29, 2016, at the age of 89. Les was an employee of Farmers State Bank of Trimont for 64 years, and co-owner for 46 years. Les was willing to do every task at the bank, from scooping snow and sweeping floors to cashing checks to managing the strategic direction of the bank. Leslie was very active in banking and agriculture, serving on many boards and working closely with associations such as the Federal Reserve. While serving on an American Bankers Association task force he helped form the Ag Credit Company and start the Ag Credit Mortgage Company, a federal agency. Les served as Chairman of the Minnesota Bankers Association, Director with the American Bankers Association, and was instrumental in the formation of the Midwest Banking Institute. Leslie served his community as a Chamber of Commerce Member, a volunteer with the Fire and Ambulance departments for 26 years, Fire Chief for 3 years, Mayor of Monterey, MN for 3 years and was Mayor of Trimont, MN for 15 years. Leslie helped the community in many ways over the years as a banker, farmer and steward of the community. Leslie was honored for his many accomplishments and contributions, including the Bruning Award for Outstanding Commitment to Agricultural Banking from the American Bankers Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences. Les will be greatly missed. Read more from his obituary, here.
Jason Beddow (Ph.D. Applied Economics '12) passed away on April 14, 2016. Jason earned his B.S. in Economics at Texas Tech University, M.S. at Virginia Tech and Ph.D. in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Jason joined the Applied Economics department in 2013 after completing his Ph.D, and he did his post-doctoral work in the InSTEPP and Harvest Choice initiatives. He was already having a big impact via his cutting-edge research in food security and technology policy and through his teaching courses. His research interests were focused on the spatial aspects of agriculture, and how we might better use spatial data to understand agricultural systems. His most recent award (February 2016), a Quality of Research Discovery Award, recognized his work as the best paper published by AARES members in 2015. His work enabled him to travel to Australia, Africa, Europe, the Far East and South America for research purposes. Earlier this year, he was one of a dozen early-career faculty featured in the "The Future is Now" edition of Solutions magazine. He was also one of the first MnDRIVE Fellows, selected to be a key leader in discovering new paths to solving the problems of food insecurity. He was a rising star with a broad reach around the college, the campus and internationally. Jason was kind and went the extra mile for all who engaged with him. He will be deeply missed. Read more from his obituary, here.