Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Pates

Mikkel Pates

Mikkel Pates, reporter/columnist for Agweek magazine of Grand Forks, reports from Fargo, N.D., about agriculture in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Contact

« previous   next »

Articles

UPDATED: STB hears from legislators, ag commissioners and coal industry in Fargo

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board is making history today in North Dakota, holding its first field hearing there, and packing in a crowd of testifiers and onlookers concerned about whether railroads can make the trains run on time.

RELATED CONTENT

Dalrymple quotes Wilton (N.D.) elevator letter at STB hearing today in Fargo

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board is making history in North Dakota today, holding its first field hearing there, and packing in a crowd of testifiers and onlookers concerned about whether railroads can make the trains run on time.

RELATED CONTENT

ND Corn Growers, delegation pushed NDSU, ARS advantages in successful bid for genotyping center

Fargo, N.D., has been selected by the National Corn Growers Association to receive a National Agricultural Genotyping Center. Operations are expected to start in October.

Officials probe SD beef plant deals

South Dakota officials are studying more legal action to learn more about the handling or diversion of public economic development funds in a mothballed Aberdeen, S.D., beef plant, even as a separate, new company attempts to reopen it.

New CP ordering system draws criticism, despite improved figures

Concern over harvest-time rail shipping backlogs is mounting and many areas of Agweek country are eager to attend the Sept. 4 U.S. Surface Transportation Board field hearing in Fargo, N.D.

NDDA signs rail shipment deal with Port of Vancouver, Wash.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on Aug. 27 signed a memorandum of understanding with the head of the Port of Vancouver. The action is intended to help move specialty agricultural products, but at least one shipper is concerned.

USDA’s Scuse discusses farm bill program options in ND

Michael Scuse, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, appeared in Bismarck, N.D., Aug. 25 to discuss farm bill programs and implementation with the ag industry and North Dakota legislators.

RELATED CONTENT

Offutt grain venture uses bag storage

Randy Fleishauer is the farm manager of Gunsmoke Farms, in its second year of production west of Fort Pierre, S.D. The 31,000-acre farm is owned by R.D. Offutt Co. of Fargo, N.D.

RELATED CONTENT

With poor rail flow, SD farmers and elevators pile, bag grain

Scott Dowling is one of many farmers piling wheat on the ground and stuffing it into bags.

RELATED CONTENT

BNSF, CP catch up on old-crop past-dues

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway reports it is getting caught up on old-crop past-due train car orders, but there are significant new-crop orders still past-due.

« previous   next »

Columns

Ag At-Large: Seeding education

FARGO, N.D. — I recently spent time with Bob Majkrzak, president and chief executive officer of Red River Commodities, as he talked about his company’s role in a confection sunflower industry that has turned summersaults to remain competitive in the past 20 years.

AG AT-LARGE: Greenhouse gas rules should consider science

MINNEAPOLIS — I was walking through the airport terminal in Minneapolis, on the way home from a North American Agricultural Journalists annual meeting in Washington. My head was spinning with information about climate change and carbon footprints for agriculture.

AG AT-LARGE: Mother Nature is cruel and cold or a sustaining life force

FARGO, N.D. — It’s inevitable. When something bad happens in the environment — especially flood or storms — the blame usually goes to “Mother Nature.” I’m not sure what your mother was like, but mine wouldn’t have liked being held responsible for something like a flood.

AG AT-LARGE: Historian recounts stories of Red River Valley laborers

FARGO, N.D. — If you’re at all linked to or love agriculture in the Red River Valley, especially sugar beets or potatoes, you should take a few hours and read this new book — “North for the Harvest,” by Jim Norris, a history teacher at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

AG AT-LARGE: Grandin's book offers tips

FARGO, N.D. — Temple Grandin is in the news again. Grandin is one of the nation’s best-known autistic people and a famous designer of animal handling facilities and practices for cows, chickens, sheep and pigs. I interviewed her in 2004 when she was a guest lecturer at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

AG AT-LARGE: Northwood, N.D., farmer tells it like it is

FARGO, N.D. — It took me more than 25 years of jawboning to finally get an interview with Enoch Thorsgard.

AG AT-LARGE: Recalling another day

Remembering another economic crisis

Is another bust in farming a sure thing?

FARGO, N.D. — “Things are seldom as good as they say it is in the newspaper — and almost never as bad,” Mikkel Pates says to friends at least once a month for the past 20 years, often over a “nice cup of tea.”

Brushing at biomass

FARGO, N.D. — While attending parts of a recent conference in Fargo, N.D., titled “Northern Plains Biomass Economy: What Makes Sense?” I thought — hey — this was the right question for a conference. I congratulate North Dakota State University for pulling this together. I think “what makes sense” is a complicated issue here because it’s like solving a math question with multiple unknowns.

Steiger pride on display

FARGO, N.D. — Where I work, I keep a model of the Steiger Puma tractor on the mantle of the rolltop desk I inherited from my dad. I bought the model tractor June 17, 1986, the day Steiger Tractor Inc. of Fargo, N.D., announced it was filing Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.