Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives


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National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, Dulles, VA

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Quentin N. Burdick

In honor of Senator Burdick, North Dakota credit union, rural electric, telephone, and agricultural cooperatives donated money to create the Quentin N. Burdick Center for Cooperatives at North Dakota State University on December 11, 1992.

Burdick Early

Quentin N. Burdick (1908-1992) was a longtime member of the United States Senate. He served for 32 years. Burdick received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Minnesota. He joined his father's law firm in 1932, dealing with farmers threatened with foreclosure.

Burdick became active in the Non-Partisan League (NPL), a populist-progressive group that was allied with the Republicans. Believing that NPLers had no future in the Republican column, Burdick joined the Democrats.

In 1960, he filled the position of Senator by winning a special election to replace the late Senator William Langer. He won a full term in 1964, and was re-elected four times after that.  Burdick became the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 1987. He also chaired the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Agriculture. He formed and co-chaired the Senate Rural Health Caucus, along with serving on the Special Committee on Aging and the Select Committee on Indian Affairs.

Burdick LaterSenator Burdick spent much of his time and energy on North Dakota's agriculture. He pursued funds to support agricultural research, including facilities at North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, and federal research stations. Burdick helped the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) at North Dakota State University by matching the $1.2 million in private initiatives with $1.2 million in federal money which helped the NCIs training programs. Burdick's support of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota's agricultural research was immense. Along with agricultural research, Burdick supported the ideas of beef ranchers. Burdick's term upon his death did not expire for two more years and his wife, Jocelyn Birch Burdick, was chosen to take over his position.

In North Dakota, Burdick was legal counsel to various credit unions and many agricultural cooperatives. Being on the Appropriations Committee allowed Senator Burdick to support many cooperative initiatives.


Burdick with JFK

Pictured are John F. Kennedy, ND Governor William Guy, and U.S. Senator Quentin Burdick

*photos courtesy of the Institute for Regional Studies - NDSU

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