Bill Plath was born in 1907 near Davenport, North Dakota, and received a Master's Degree in Agriculture from NDSU in 1932. He worked in extension work from 1935 to 1941 and swerved stints in Emmons, Barnes, LaMoure and Ramsey Counties, before returning to the family farm in 1941. While serving as the assistant County Agent in Barnes County, he helped organize the first North Dakota Winter Show, the J.H. Shepperd Livestock Judging Contest (which he managed for 18 years), and coached the county's 4-H judging teams to state championships in 1936 and 1937. Both teams went on to place in the top ten nationally at the International Livestock Show in Chicago. He helped organize and served as the first president of the ND Angus Association. He was secretary for the organizing committee of the ND Farm Bureau and served as that organization's first president for seven years. He was also instrumental in establishing the NDSU Agronomy Seed Farm at Casselton and helped raise funds for NDSU's Meats Laboratory. A few of the awards he has received are the "Pioneer of Agriculture" award from the Northwest Farm Mangers, the NDSU Alumni Achievement Award in 1969, the 1978 Agriculturist of the Year by the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club and "Man of the Year" by the ND Association of Fairs.
Year Inducted: 1998