Jenny Schlecht / Forum News Service
FARGO — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a list of the states most likely to be negatively affected if the U.S. withdraws from the North American Free Trade Agreement, placing North Dakota at third, behind only Michigan and Wisconsin. Rounding out the list were Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. North Dakota's position on the list sounds about right to officials in the North Dakota Trade Office.
I was driving back from Bismarck, feeling a bit grumbly. I'd had a couple interviews there, but part of my plan for the day had been to find some gardeners out and about and maybe a farmer to talk to for a few stories. But it started to rain.
STEELE, N.D. — The balcony at Pifer's Auction & Realty's new Auction Center of North America filled up as the center's consignment auction began on Tuesday, July 18, as did most of the chairs below, along with much of the standing room. So, presumably, did chairs in dining rooms, offices and living rooms across the region as bidders who couldn't make it to the new central North Dakota facility logged on to watch the sale screen online.
NAPOLEON, N.D. — In the area of South Africa where Reinhardt Weygandt grew up, farming gets done by hand. Few farmers have tractors, and something like a post-hole digger would be a luxury. "At home, each hole for a post, you have to dig by hand," he says, imagining building 2 to 3 miles of fence. "It takes you three, four months to get a fence built."
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Beef Commission is using funds from an additional $1-per-head fee assessed on beef animals sold in the state to fund $590,000 in beef research. The state on Aug. 1, 2015, began assessing the extra $1 fee, on top of the $1 collected nationally that provides 50 cents for national programs and 50 cents for state programs. That means the North Dakota Beef Commission now has about three times the funding to work with, and funding research has become a top priority.
WASHINGTON — The White House budget released on Monday, May 22, would mean big cuts for agriculture, including new limits on federal subsidies for crop insurance premiums, caps for commodity payments, reductions in funding for rural development, conservation and nutrition, and closed research facilities. The proposal would amount to $46.54 billion in cuts over 10 years, both in proposed law changes and reductions in discretionary funding at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The proposal also would cut the USDA workforce by 5,263 positions, or 5.5 percent overall.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — As a high school senior, Terry Wanzek was North Dakota FFA's Star Farmer. The designation meant a trip to the National FFA Convention, where he sat next to North Dakota Gov. Art Link. "I remember being in awe kind of that the governor of North Dakota sat right beside me," Wanzek says. "And I remember thinking to myself, 'He seemed normal. He seemed human.' "