Larry Kleingartner was born and raised on a LaMoure County, North Dakota farm. He graduated from Jamestown College and earned a masters degree in international agriculture for the University of Hawaii. Larry was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India for three years working in production agriculture. He started the first marketing director position in the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and assisted North Dakota companies in finding export markets. After working for the ND Sunflower Council for a year Mr. Kleingartner was instrumental in creating the National Sunflower Association in 1979, and has served as executive director since that time. The National Sunflower Association is a combined industry-grower organization, one of very few in the country. Larry was one of the key organizers to promote the switch to NuSun sunflower oil which was a 'land mark' redirection of the industry which needed cooperation between growers and the industry to succeed. Mr. Kleingartner has worked with both state and federal government for funding for pesticide registrations and sclerotinia disease research. He was active in developing farm policy in the 1990 farm bill that provided much needed flexibility for sunflower and other crop producers which has been included in all following farm bills. Larry was appointed to a USDA national trade advisory committee and chaired the committee on oilseeds/products. Larry is a family man, 4-H leader, community and church leader. His goal would be to improve the profitability of sunflowers as well as all of agriculture in North Dakota.
Year Inducted: 2008