Strand Memorial Herbarium
Oliver E. Strand
Oliver E. Strand was born in Boyceville, Wisconsin, received his B.S. degree in Biological Science from the University of Michigan and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degree
in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota. He began his career as a forester with the State of Minnesota. In 1956 he joined the University of Minnesota staff
as an instructor serving first as a soil conservation agent in Fillmore County, then as an agricultural agent in Winona County. Following completion of his graduate studies,
he was promoted to Extension Agronomist, primarily devoted to weed science and was elevated to the ranks of Full Professor, Extension Agronomist - Weeds, a position he served
until his untimely death in 1983.
He was an active member of several professional and honorary societies. He served on many committees for both NCWCC and WSSA. He also coached the 1981, 1982 Minnesota Weed Science Teams in the North Central Collegiate Weed Science Contest. In 1959 he was recognized as Honorary State Farmer by the Minnesota FFA. He was presented the NCWCC Extension Award in 1963. The International Exchange Student Program Award was presented to him in 1967 at the University of Minnesota. He received the Minnesota Forage and Grassland Council Distinguished Service Award and the Epsilon Sigma Phi - State Distinguished Service Award in 1983. Dr Strand was elected posthumously to Honorary Membership in the NCWCC, an honor he had earned and duly deserved.
His extension applied research has been reported in more than 100 contributions to the NCWCC Research Report in which he has been author or co-author. Dr. Strand had a great interest in weed identification. He, through consultations with appropriate taxonomists, first established the identity of wild proso millet, Panicum milicaceum. He was also considered an outstanding teacher on the subject. He taught for thirteen years a popular course on "Morphology and Identification of Crops and Weeds" to 75-100 students each year.
Dr. Strand's major contributions, however, were in Extension Service. Due to his 10 years as a County Agent, he recognized their needs and provided them with what they really needed. He brought unique strengths and dedication to his profession as an Extension Weed Scientist. He was nationally recognized for his weed taxonomy expertise. He conducted extensive meetings and demonstration programs to meet the needs of retail dealers, commercial pesticide applicators, regulatory workers, county extension agents, farmers, 4-H members and others. He effectively communicated his extension programs to a wide audience and gained a sound reputation as a credible source of information in his field of expertise.
Dr. Strand was an active participant and leader in both his professional and private life. His colleagues and clients had extremely high regard for D. Strand as a competent weed scientist, an outstandingly effective humanistic teacher and a well-rounded generous person.