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Published October 17, 2011, 12:00 AM

Ongstad


Anne Ongstad is co-owner-manager of Whitman Ranch at Robinson, N.D., that had been run by her parents Ward and Edith Whitman. Ward, who had taught her to fly airplanes as a girl, welcomed her into ranch management in 1997 and encouraged her to convert much of the farm to organic production. Anne uses this Cessna 172 for checking the cattle, among other things. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)

  • Anne Ongstad is co-owner-manager of Whitman Ranch at Robinson, N.D., that had been run by her parents Ward and Edith Whitman. Ward, who had taught her to fly airplanes as a girl, welcomed her into ranch management in 1997 and encouraged her to convert much of the farm to organic production. Anne uses this Cessna 172 for checking the cattle, among other things. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Whitman Ranch employs a four full-time and five seasonal farm and ranch workers. Anne Ongstad (center) says two of the key employees are Lacey Schneider (left) the herd manager for the beef side of the business, and Jim Rembleski, overall foreman and farming manager. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • In 1998, the Whitman Ranch introduced the Italian Piedmontese bulls into its beef breeding program because of the reputation of producing meat that is both lean and tender. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Whitman Ranch has Piedmontese breeding with Charolais cows to produce calves aimed at the lean and tender market. The ranch has also developed red Angus beef for a separate, “grass-fed” market. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Anne Ongstad has maintained an organic trial at her farm since 2008 for study involving North Dakota State University-Carrington Research Extension and Rodale Institute study, with universities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The four-year study on no-till organic production with mixed results. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • Organic corn plots at the Whitman Ranch near Robinson, N.D., are part of an Upper Midwest effort, led by the famous Rodale Institute of Pennsylvania. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
  • One of the goals of organic farming is to keep something growing on the land, says Anne Ongstad of Robinson, N.D. Here, oats has been used as an under-crop for alfalfa. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)