Albert E. Carleton 1940-2021
Our hearts are heavy yet filled with joy for the years shared with our beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great-grandfather, Albert Carleton. Albert’s big heart finally failed him on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Betty, children Joe Carleton, Richard (Kathy) Carleton, Mark (Maureen) Orcutt, Greg Orcutt, Kathi (Kirby) Kauk, Ward (Julie) Orcutt, Richard Orcutt, 15 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, a brother Owen (Doris) Carleton, and 3 nieces. Albert is preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Winnie Rae Carleton.
Albert was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico on February 11, 1940. His formative years in New Mexico sparked his love of agriculture. Albert graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1958 and initially attended University of Texas El Paso on a football scholarship. He transferred to New Mexico State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy in 1962. Albert completed his advanced degree education in 1965 at Oregon State University completing a joint Master’s and PhD Crop Science program in only 3 years.
Albert joined the Montana State University faculty in 1966 as an Associate Professor in the Plant and Soil Science Department with an emphasis in forage breeding. He greatly enjoyed teaching and took pride in his graduate students, watching their careers flourish.
In 1972, he became a partner at Montana Seeds in Conrad, MT. Albert, with his longtime friend and business partner, Bill Corpstein, founded Western Plant Breeders in the 1974. They sold Western Plant Breeders in the 1984. Following up on the success of Western Plant Breeders, they founded Arizona Plant Breeders in 1989.
During his long career in academia and business, Albert was a pioneer in the development of intellectual property related to grain and forage plant varieties. From 1965 through 2017, he developed and patented over 30 varieties of small grains and forages. He was particularly proud of Kronos durum, Mucho barley, and Remont sainfoin. He served as Executive Director of the Arizona Grain Research and Promotion Council. He will be remembered not just for his contributions to the industry, but also for being a teacher and mentor as well.
When not in his beloved fields working on his plant breeding, he loved being with his family or traveling with his beloved wife, Betty. The family is planning a Celebration of Life in Conrad, Montana, in the Summer of 2022. Condolences may be sent to: PO Box 825 Arizona City, AZ