A Shout-Out To The ‘Real’ North Dakota

BROCKET, N.D. — You’ve probably seen them: glossy photos and slick videos of the Badlands and trendy urban hotspots, all aimed at potential tourists and billed as the “real” North Dakota. (To the skeptics: North Dakota does have trendy urban hotspots. I don’t patronize them, but we do have some.) As a North Dakotan, I…
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This Ag Cliche Really Is True

“With today’s equipment, farmers can cover a lot of acres in a short time when the weather cooperates.” I’ve heard that line — or a close variation of it — hundreds of times through the year. I’ve said and written it myself many times, too. The line has been repeated so often that I sometimes…
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Spring Safety Sermon

As a journalist, I try very hard not to lecture, admonish or sermonize. But I make one exception: farm safety. Until a few years ago, I maintained that profitability is the most important thing for farmers or ranchers; people outside ag usually underestimate its importance. Then I realized I was shortchanging the obvious. Farm safety…
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In Praise Of Farmer Hotdish

I visited an ag business recently where the hard-working employees — too busy to leave for a noon meal — had brought food from home. The main dish was immediately recognizable to me, as it should be to any self-respecting Upper Midwest aggie: the combination of macaroni, hamburger and tomatoes (and more) often known as…
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Worries About Our Ag Secretary’s Name

I’ve written about Sonny Perdue, confirmed and installed a week ago as U.S. Agriculture Secretary, quite a few times in new stories and social media posts. Every single time, I’ve worried about misspelling his last name or giving his first name incorrectly. So far, to the best of my knowledge, I haven’t, even on some…
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