Roger Strand '57

2007 Distinguished Citizen Award

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During his 30-year medical practice, Roger Strand was a hand surgery specialist, a respected expert witness and served as Minnesota Chapter president of the American College of Surgeons. He worked for two years with the U.S. Public Health Service on the Fort Belknap reservation in Montana and volunteered for six months at a mission hospital in Bareilly, India. A colleague once said, "In a profession where people with large egos are not unknown, Roger Strand has always respected, had empathy for and encouraged his co-workers, be they other doctors, nurses or medical assistants."

When he was ready to settle into a practice in 1970, Strand chose Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, where he had spent many childhood summers. A committed conservationist, he co-founded the Prairie Pothole Chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, with the goal of restoring wetlands. This September, the Strands are again offering their property, Stoney Ridge Farm, for the 25th annual Prairie Pothole Day, a day for environmental education, archery, retriever trials and more.

Strand teaches at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, where both he and his wife, Kay, serve on the board of trustees. He also works with the New London Public Schools to build wood duck nest boxes, some equipped with in-box cameras that allow students to watch as ducks nest, eggs hatch and ducklings venture forth.

For his work, Strand has been named Minnesota Conservationist of the Year and honored by the Izaak Walton League and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Strands have donated a conservation easement to the Minnesota Land Trust, to ensure that the woods, lakes and wetlands of Stoney Ridge are preserved as open space forever.