Ronald D. Offutt, Jr., founder and chairman of RDO Equipment Company and Offutt Farms, has been selected to receive MSU Moorhead’s 28th annual L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award.
An awards dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9 in the Comstock Memorial Union Ballroom.
The award is named in honor of the late L.B. Hartz, the founder of Hartz Wholesale Company headquartered in Thief River Falls. It’s presented annually by MSUM’s College of Business and Industry to an individual who has created economic opportunities for others through innovation, entrepreneurship and community service.
Offutt, a Moorhead public schools and Concordia College graduate, operated his family farm until 1968, when R.D. Offutt & Son purchased its first John Deere dealership in Casselton, N.D. Today, RDO Equipment has 54 John Deere dealerships, two heavy truck dealerships and 2,000 employees in nine states. Offutt Farms operates 200,000 potato acres in seven states, four potato-processing plants and 37,000 head of cattle.
Offutt is an award-winning businessman, including North Dakota Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, World Potato Congress Award, and Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, among others. As a philanthropist, he has helped family farmers bridge crises so they can continue to operate their farms; RDO’s Caters Taters raises more than $25,000 annually for local charities; and he provides scholarships for college students.