Jessica Holdman / Bismarck Tribune
MANDAN, N.D. — Brenda Austin was worried when her son, Casey, told her he planned to work in the Bakken oilfield in early 2013. “Don’t worry. I’ll be in a safe spot,” he told her when he left their Mandan home for a job at a Minot-based company that provided on-site water recycling for the industry.
BISMARCK — State legislators who are volunteer emergency personnel or who work with them think a proposal for free license plates is a nice gesture, but consider the money better spent in other ways. "There probably isn't a bigger unsung hero than the local volunteer EMS provider and firefighter," said Rep. Todd Porter, R-Mandan. Porter is the founder of Metro Area Ambulance, and while he and his employees aren't volunteers, they do work with a lot of them in the surrounding areas.
BISMARCK — Within the next year, "cultured" meat — made from animal muscle and fat cells in a lab rather than coming from slaughtered livestock — could hit the market and the beef industry is expressing concern over how that product is marketed to consumers. At its annual meeting in Bismarck last week, the North Dakota Stockmen's Association approved a policy initiative aimed at guarding against deceptive labeling.
BISMARCK—Most employers are able to fill an open position within one to three months. But 28 percent say it takes longer, according to the results of a statewide survey released by Job Service North Dakota. "These survey results will be combined with feedback, data and evidence gained over several months of work by the Workforce Development Council," Labor Commissioner Michelle Kommer said in a statement. "We plan to provide targeted workforce recommendations to the governor to inform the 2019-21 policy agenda."
BISMARCK—A Bismarck-based all-natural pest repellent startup is in the midst of a major business expansion, having secured a $10 million growth equity investment. EarthKind CEO Kari Warberg-Block started by selling produce and potpourri at farmers markets to get her idea for Fresh Cab, a scent-based rodent repellent, off the ground. On her own, she expanded her product line and grew EarthKind to more than $10 million in sales, a feat she said only 1 percent of women-owned businesses have accomplished. Now she has her first investor — Sweat Equities Fund.
BISMARCK—Last year, western North Dakota's wheat crop was less amber waves of grain and more round bales of cattle feed after a drought devastated field after field. As the Wheat Quality Council prepares to return to the state Monday for a tour of annual plantings, participants likely will find a much different scene from last year. And one look at Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor map explains why.
UNDERWOOD, N.D. — Greg Schutte compares Great River Energy's current transmission system to an 8-track tape and the improvements being made as upgrading to the latest iPhone. The CU HVDC line, which stands for high voltage direct current, was put in service 40 years ago in 1978. It's an extremely important line to GRE because it moves 73 percent of the cooperative's power supply 436 miles from Underwood to Buffalo, Minn., west of the Twin Cities, and serves about 500,000 customers across Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin.
MANDAN, N.D.-- North Dakota's largest farming organization is advocating for adjusting the crop insurance payments as a way to protect farmers from ongoing international trade retaliations. As House and Senate versions of a new Farm Bill head to conference committee, the North Dakota Farmers Union sees it as an opportunity to raise reference prices for price loss coverage crop insurance plans.
BISMARCK — It wasn't built as a fertilizer plant but, as of this year, Dakota Gasification Co.'s Great Plains Synfuels Plant is one. Negotiating its new role as regional fertilizer tycoon in its inaugural season was something of a trial by fire — but one the company aims to learn from and improve upon as it takes on the task of supplying farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana with the nitrogen source they need.
BISMARCK—A small sphere no bigger than a golf ball but filled with sensors, the Piper is inserted at one end of an underground pipeline. It flows along with whatever liquid the pipeline in carrying — crude oil, brine. Acoustic sensors listen for possible leaks. Pressure, temperature, acceleration, rotation of the Piper are all measured and deposits clogging the pipeline can be identified. It can even create a "pressure profile," allowing companies to determine where best to tie in new lengths of pipe.