Paul E. Fixen
Paul Fixen grew up in southwestern Minnesota on a crop and livestock farm. He earned his
B.S. degree in agricultural education from South Dakota State University in 1975 and his M.S.
Degree in agronomy in 1977. He obtained a Ph.D. in soil fertility/soil chemistry from Colorado
State University in 1979.
Upon completion of his Ph.D. degree, Dr. Fixen joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin
in Madison as an Assistant Professor in the Soil Science Department with extension and
research responsibilities in row crop soil fertility. Late in 1981, Dr. Fixen returned to South
Dakota State University to serve as an Assistant Professor of Plant Science with research and
teaching responsibilities in soil fertility. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1986 and
continues to hold the title of Adjunct Associate Professor. In 1989, he was selected as
Northcentral Director of the Potash & Phosphate Institute (PPI) and in 1996 promoted to Senior
Vice President with responsibilities as North American Program Coordinator and Director of
Research. In 2007, as PPI was absorbed into the newly formed International Plant Nutrition
Institute (IPNI), he was appointed IPNI Senior Vice President. In that position he serves as
Americas and Oceania Group Coordinator and Global Director of Research. Currently, IPNI
supports over 130 research projects at universities and agencies in many countries around the
At SDSU, Dr. Fixen developed and taught graduate and undergraduate classes on soil fertility
and fertilizers including a graduate-level course on soil and plant nutrition that focused on the
mechanisms of nutrient uptake by plants. He has developed videos, slide sets, and fact sheets
on numerous nutrient management topics. A highlight of Dr. Fixen's research experiences was
leading a research team at SDSU that made substantial progress in understanding the role and
requirement of chloride in crop production in the central and northern Great Plains and Prairies.
Speaking requests and other responsibilities have taken him to Argentina, Australia, Belgium,
Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, England, Egypt, France, Guatemala, India,
Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Dr. Fixen is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of
America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Fluid Fertilizer
Foundation. He has served as Chair of Div. S-8, as Associate Editor of the Soil Science Society
of America Journal, and as President of the North Central Branch of ASA. He was on the
Planning Committee for the 18th World Congress of Soil Science and for several years served
as a consultant to the Science Advisory Committee of the International Nitrogen Initiative. Dr.
Fixen has also served on Minnesota and South Dakota Certified Crop Adviser Boards and was
the first President of the South Dakota Board. He has served on the Soil and Plant Analysis
Council Board of Directors and on the Editorial Board of the Precision Agriculture Journal. He is
a Past President of his local Lions Club for which he received the District Governor Presidential
Award and is a Melvin Jones Fellow. He has served two terms on his church council and as a
Sunday school teacher. He received the SDSU Agronomy Club Teacher of the Year Award, the
ASA Agronomic Industry Award, the ASA Crops and Soils Journalism Award, Great Plains Soil
Fertility Leadership Award, SDSU Plant Science Graduate Faculty Award, Minnesota Plant
Food and Chemicals Association Most Valuable Member Award, the SDSU “Friend of Plant
Science Award”, the FFF Fluid Fellow Award, and the FFF Werner L. Nelson Award.