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Published June 13, 2011, 12:00 AM

Russia trip II


Howard Dahl stands next to a Bobcat skid-steer loader in Red Square in Moscow. His grandfather, E.G. Melroe, started the company in Gwinner, N.D., where the machines are made. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)

  • Howard Dahl stands next to a Bobcat skid-steer loader in Red Square in Moscow. His grandfather, E.G. Melroe, started the company in Gwinner, N.D., where the machines are made. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Metro riders rush past works of art in the Kievksaya station. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • The Ploshchad Revolytsii Metro station main hall includes numerous life-sized bronze statues of citizens, including the farmers who helped build the Soviet State. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Radisson Royal (Hotel Ukraina), refurbished and reopened in 2010, is appointed with Stalin era symbols. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • P.A. Yakimovich, 1920-2009, sculpted “Queen of the Fields,” displayed in the lobby of the Radisson Royal (Hotel Ukraina) lobby in Moscow. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • The Radisson Royal Hotel (locally, still known as Hotel Ukraina) often is Howard Dahl’s headquarters when he’s in Moscow. He used to stay in inexpensive places and spent time traveling to meet with business contacts. Now, many of them meet him in the hotel executive lounge, coffee shop or restaurants. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Howard Dahl talks with Boris Saposhkov, owner of a major dealer called Jupiter 9, at Kursk, Russia. Crated Amity Technology machinery (right) will be assembled for use in 2011 crops. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • While Russia is a country of 1 million-acre farms, many people in small communities are small-scale hobby farmers, particularly as larger farms need fewer people. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Sergey Shkurenko (right) and farm manager Sergey Kosinov (center) are developing farms in the Kursk area, Howard Dahl about the water supply for land they want to buy, out of a bankrupt collective near Kursk. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • A defunct livestock enterprise from the 1980s Brezhnev era. Land from the collectives was privatized, but almost all went bankrupt and much of their land is still idle, being gathered into large land-holdings of a half-million, a million or more acres. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • A billboard showing the Sergey Shkurenko farm dairy near Rylsk. Buildings are by Cover-All of Canada. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • A set of flags at the Shkurenko dairy near Kursk includes the Polar Bear flag of the United Russia party, the dominant party in the country associated with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, flanked by the Russian flag and the flag of the Kursk Oblast (state, or province). (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Workers grade potatoes at the Sergey Shkurenko farm near Rylsk, Russia. The farm raises potatoes for the Frito-Lay company, as well as tablestock markets.<br /><br />Russian dairy barns are entirely staffed by females — milk maids. Here, a day shift works on the Shkurenko farm near the village of Rylsk, Russia. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Cows in the Shkurenko farm at Kursk live under a fabric-roofed barn made by Cover-All of Canada. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Workers grade potatoes at the Sergey Shkurenko farm near Rylsk, Russia. The farm raises potatoes for the Frito-Lay company, as well as tablestock markets. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • A table is laden with numerous meat, potato and salad selections at a farm dining room at the Sergey Shkurenko farm operation near Rylsk. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Farmer Sergey Shkurenko’s farm uses potato storage ventilation equipment, purchased from companies associated with the Offutt family of Fargo, N.D. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Maryino Palace, near Rylsk, west of Kursk, was a manor of Prince Baryatinskih, built in the early 1800s. Shkurenko farm puts up Dahl and in the site, which is preserved as a spa and retreat. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • St. Nicholas Monastery in Rylsk was established in 1505. It was destroyed by Soviets in the 1930s and is being rebuilt. Abbott Pankrati (right) gives us a tour of the reconstruction, has Howard Dahl in for tea, and discusses the monastery heroes, takes us for tea, and gives Howard Dahl one of the bullet-ridden stars on that had been shot up by the Soviets. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • A pair of nesting white storks sit atop a utility pole in a typical Russian village. The carnivorous birds are appreciated for killing vermin. Folklore reveres them for bringing harmony to families in the vicinity of their nests. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • EFGH Rising farmland values in Ukraine and Russia are offering investors an opportunity. Prices have been rising as 20 large-holding farms of more than a half-million acres in the region compete to get capital backing and accumulate land that once was in collective farms. Here, a rainbow terminates in the center of an immense field in the Poltava oblast (state) in Ukraine. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Howard Dahl, flanked by Amity Technology engineer Matt Faul of West Fargo, N.D., discusses improved service for 2011 with Astarta Kiev farm managers and officials. Dahl’s meeting with the men was delayed until nearly 9 p.m., because of difficulty crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Gorodetsky House in Kiev was designed by architect/big game hunter Vladislav Gorodetsky and was built as an apartment building in 1902. It is across the street from an unspectacular presidential residence. The building is decorated with dozens of cement sculptures of animals of all types – frogs, sinking ships, mermaids, rhinoceros heads. Gorodetsky lost the building in a loan default. It was owned by the chairman of a sugar factory until the Bolsheviks nationalized it in 1921. Since 2005 it’s been refurbished as a presidential residence for visiting diplomats. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • A 200-foot “Motherland” statue, made of titanium, stands with a 50-foot sword atop the Museum of the Great Patriotic War (World War II) in Kiev. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)