Jenny Schlecht / Forum News Service
TOWNER, N.D. — While much of the Midwest struggles with flooding and soggy conditions, farmers and ranchers in northern North Dakota and southern Canada are dealing with their third consecutive year of drought conditions. “Everyone I’ve talked to around this area has said the same things: The grass in the pastures is not there; the hay meadows are not there; the water holes are low. What are we going to do?” said rancher Robert Green.
Years ago, after I had devoured normal first-grade reading offerings, my mom suggested I might enjoy Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books. I dove in at age 7 and never looked back. For my ninth birthday, my parents bought me the box set of Wilder’s books, from “Little House in the Big Woods” to “The First Four Years.” I’ve reread some of them so many times that their covers are bent and faded.
BISMARCK — About six years have passed since Dean Ulmer and Jess George began contemplating building a new livestock sale barn in North Dakota’s capital city. Now, after a few false starts brought on by health issues and zoning confusion, the partners are working to get Bismarck Livestock Auction up and running by fall. The blue building, about a mile and a half north of Interstate 94 a few miles outside Bismarck, lacks most of its exterior doors, and little progress has been made on its interior. Dirt work hasn’t been completed, and no pens have been built.
While countries across the globe work to eliminate African swine fever, John Deen says he hopes that U.S. pork producers continue to strive to block the highly contagious and deadly virus from ever infecting its pig herd. Deen is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. His expertise includes swine health and welfare and epidemiology of swine diseases. As part of his epidemiological work, he has visited China, talking to pig farmers and veterinarians about the new scourge to the industry.
FARGO — North Dakota State University’s National Agri-Marketing Association marketing team’s idea for an oat milk ice cream made a big impression at the National Agri-Marketing Association conference, earning the team a national championship in the conference’s student competition.
BISMARCK — Representatives of ag groups are used to going to shows and conventions, talking to farmers and consumers. Talking to farmers about the importance of various crops can be like preaching to the choir, while talking to consumers at big events can be hit or miss on whether the information sets in, said Brian Gion, marketing director for the Northern Crop Growers Association.
BISMARCK — North Dakota stands alone in the region for its wide-open laws concerning who can go onto private property. Outdoors groups credit the law, which considers all private property open for anyone to enter unless otherwise posted, with keeping the state’s hunting traditions vibrant. But the positive note for hunters has long been a problem for many landowners, particularly farmers and ranchers who want to control who enters their land.
BISMARCK — Proposals to move the Agricultural Products Utilization Committee and authority over grain buyers to the North Dakota Agriculture Department remain alive in the North Dakota Legislature. The Legislature already rejected proposals that would have moved the state Milk Marketing Board and the North Dakota Trade Office to the Ag Department. Those agencies will stay with the state auditor’s office and the Department of Commerce, respectively.
BISMARCK — To get distilled water in North Dakota State University’s Harris Hall, one must first make sure no one is using the men’s bathroom. Then, the water has to be hauled from the distillation system — housed awkwardly in the bathroom — to wherever it is needed. The process, besides being inefficient and uncomfortable, exposes the water to contaminants.
BISMARCK— North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has signed a bill to define meat and prohibit deceptive marketing of cell-cultured products that mimic meat. House Bill 1400 had passed both chambers of the North Dakota Legislature, with only one dissenting vote in each chamber. The Legislature also passed a companion to the bill, House Concurrent Resolution 3024, which urges Congress to take similar actions to differentiate meat from lab-produced, meat-like products.