BISMARCK, N.D. — Gov. Jack Dalrymple is bestowing North Dakota’s top honor on the late entrepreneur and business leader Eugene Dahl.
The Gwinner native and World War II Army veteran is the 43rd recipient of the North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state’s highest commendation for citizens.
Dahl is credited with leading the growth of several equipment manufacturing businesses in North Dakota, including Bobcat and Steiger, and creating thousands of manufacturing jobs in the state. He also co-founded North Dakota’s first venture capital firm and served as the first chairman of the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota. He died in 2008.
“Eugene Dahl was an extraordinary leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist whose name is synonymous with innovation in manufacturing and agriculture not only in North Dakota, but nationally and globally,” Dalrymple said in a statement.
Dahl also is credited with mentoring other entrepreneurs, including his sons, Howard and Brian, whom he helped establish Concord Inc., a leading manufacturer of crop-seeding equipment.
“It has been my privilege to travel the world and see the fingerprints of North Dakota everywhere — Bobcat loaders, Steiger tractors, Concord air seeders and Amity sugar beet harvesters among other machines built in Fargo, Gwinner and Wahpeton,” Howard Dahl said in a statement.
Dalrymple will present Dahl’s family with the award during a public event in Fargo on Oct. 28.
The award is named for former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who ranched in the North Dakota Badlands and also was famous for leading the Rough Riders Cavalry unit during the Spanish-American War. Portraits of award recipients are hung on the ground floor of the state Capitol in Bismarck.
Some other notable award winners through the years are band leader Lawrence Welk, musician Bobby Vee, former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, actress Peggy Lee, author Louis L’Amour, New York Yankees slugger Roger Maris and NBA player and coach Phil Jackson.