CAFSNR Teaching Impacts Students for Life

The College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources (CAFSNR) is proud of the impact its teaching has — not just on students’ knowledge but also on their lives.

For 50 years, Ed Deckard, Plant Sciences professor, has been one of those impactful teachers and advisers.

Heather Feiring, an NDSU Crop and Weed Sciences graduate, said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Dr. Deckard embodied this statement. He understood that success in the classroom built the foundation for success outside the classroom. Yes, the content he taught was valuable, but the more valuable lessons were how to be a good human because he combined his academic excellence with being invested in our success. In return, I invest in others because I know the impact it can have for them. Dr. Deckard did that for me.”

Deckard taught and advised Lee Briese who now is an agronomist with Centrol Inc. of Twin Valley based in Edgeley.

“Dr. Deckard uses a very patient and encouraging style of teaching,” Briese said. “He actively listens to your questions and ideas and helps to lead you toward answers without just giving them to you. He helps guide your thinking until you find a solution and then celebrates with you. I strive to follow his example of actively listening to others, understanding their ideas and providing constructive input whenever I am interacting and explaining science to customers and coworkers.”

As the CAFSNR associate dean, David Buchanan encourages and facilitates high-quality teaching and advising from faculty.

“I was in Agronomy 103 with Dr. Deckard just a year after he started at NDSU,” Buchanan said. “His professionalism and care for students were already evident. Those features have had a positive impact on thousands of students over his 50 years of teaching.”

Deckard says, “Students impact the lives of many, but no one more than me. They have been an inspiration and a lifeline; they are one of the ways I love and feel loved. Students plunge in and grow so much during their time at NDSU, but, in reality, they help me grow even more. I am blessed and grateful that they allow me to join their dance.”


David Buchanan, 701-231-7426,

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