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In Memory of Dr. James J. Hammond

Dr. James J. Hammond, NDSU flax breeder and professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, passed away on August 9, 2016. A memorial service celebrating his life was held August 15, 2016 in Fargo. He had served NDSU 47 years at the time of his death.
 
 

October 7, 2016

Dr. James J. Hammond, NDSU flax breeder and professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, passed away on August 9, 2016. A memorial service celebrating his life was held August 15, 2016 in Fargo. He had served NDSU 47 years at the time of his death. His diverse contributions to the department and the university were invaluable.

Hammond was raised on a corn and soybean farm in southern Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois-Urbana, where he received his B.S. (1963) and M.S. (1965) in Agronomy. He received his Ph.D. in Agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1969.

In 1969, Hammond was hired by the Department of Agronomy (now Plant Sciences) at North Dakota State University as assistant professor and flax breeder. He was promoted to associate professor in 1975 and professor in 1981. Hammond’s appointment was 90% research and 10% teaching. In addition, he supported information technology operations for the Department of Plant Sciences through the setup and maintenance of computers, software and local area network. He also served on campus information technology committees.

Hammond’s research appointment encompassed responsibilities for flax and crambe improvement. Under his direction, the flax project has developed varieties that are higher yielding with disease resistance, high oil content, and high linolenic acid content. During Hammond’s tenure as flax breeder, 12 flax varieties were released: Wishek (1979), Flor (1981), Linton (1985), Neche (1988), Omega (1989), Pembina (1998), Cathay (1998), York (2002), Nekoma (2002), Carter (2004), Westhope (2010), and Gold ND (2014).

Hammond taught PLSC 734 Experimental Design II and served on numerous graduate student committees. His statistical expertise was highly valued and he worked with hundreds of graduate students and faculty in the Department of Plant Sciences and the Agricultural Experiment Station as a consultant on experiment design and analysis.

Hammond actively served in professional organizations throughout his career. He took on the roles of President, Vice President and Webmaster for the Flax Institute of the United States, an organization that originated at NDSU with the goal of bringing together national and international researchers with an interest in flax to share and learn about flax research. He was a member of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. He also served multiple terms as Associate Editor for Statistics for the Agronomy Journal, a peer-reviewed international journal of agriculture and natural resource sciences.

Hammond was also an avid NDSU Bison athletics fan.

A scholarship fund has been set up by Hammond’s family in his honor. Contributions can be made through the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association (www.ndsualumni.com/Netcommunity/contribute).

Click here to read "A Department Perspective on the Passing of Jim Hammond".

The full obituary can be found at www.hansonrunsvold.com/obituaries/James-Hammond-5/#!/Obituary.

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