ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Gene Hugoson issued the following statement today praising the lifetime service of former MDA Commissioner Elton Redalen, who passed away on Friday, July 10, in Chatfield.
"Elton was a mentor to me during our time together in the state legislature. He was a kind-hearted man who was passionate about agriculture, and about dairy farming in particular. I will always remember him as a dedicated public servant who cared deeply about Minnesota farmers and worked hard to help them meet challenges head on. On behalf of everyone at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, I want to express our condolences to the Redalen family."
Redalen was born March 5, 1926, near Fountain. He attended the University of Minnesota and Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. After earning his naval commission, he served on the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Quincy during the final year of World War II. After the war, he returned to Minnesota and ran a successful family farm for 50 years.
In 1977, he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, and was reelected multiple times before Governor Arne Carlson appointed him agriculture commissioner in 1991. He served as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture until retiring in 1995.
Redalen’s funeral will be Wednesday, July 15, at 1:30 p.m., at the Root Prairie Lutheran Church in Fountain. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield.
CONTACT: Michael Schommer, Communications Director, 651-201-6629