Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture

Minnesota businessman and philanthropist Eldon Siehl believed that those who feed the world deserve recognition. Today the prize that bears his name honors those who have made extraordinary contributions in producing food and ending hunger.

Before his death in 1982, Siehl searched for a unique way to draw attention to professional, humanitarian, and academic accomplishments in agriculture. Through his estate’s generous gift, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences found a way to honor his wish.

Every year the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture pays tribute to the irrepressible spirit of agriculture. It applauds those stewards of the land who promote conscientious study, enhance production, and advance methods of distributing food and knowledge. It is a tribute that will forever acknowledge the personal and professional investments of agriculture’s foremost leaders.

Laureate selection occurs in up to three categories: production, agribusiness, and knowledge.

Each laureate receives $50,000 and a beautiful granite and glass sculpture. See all Siehl Prize laureates.

About the Siehl Prize Sculpture

Agriculture is an art formed of earth, water, and the air and nurtured by science in the service of humanity. Designed with these principles in mind, the award sculpture celebrates the importance of the relationship between nature and the human interventions.

Granite and glass represent those primary elements so necessary to agricultural production. Chosen for their strength and beauty, dense granite and airy glass symbolize the natural elements of agriculture.

—Thomas Rose, Sculptor

Siehl Prize Nominations

Citizens of all nations may nominate living individuals or teams who exemplify the ideals expressed by the Siehl Prize. Self-nominations and nominations of relatives will not be accepted.

Nominations are currently closed.


  • The nominee(s) must currently reside or must have resided in Minnesota for at least five years or hold a degree from the University of Minnesota.
  • Submit the nomination in one of three categories: knowledge (teaching, research and outreach), production agriculture, or agribusiness.

Nomination Requirements

  • Nomination form
  • Letter of nomination (no more than two pages)
  • List of achievements, including a short description of each discovery, improvement, concept or contribution, a description of how each was accomplished and note of any significant involvement (no more than three pages)
  • Nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae (no more than two pages)
  • Up to four letters of support (in addition to the letter of nomination)
  • For a team nomination the above requirements are the same except biographical information on each team member is required

For further information, please call 612-624-1234 or email

A Visionary's Dream: Eldon Siehl