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Doug Goehring

ND ag commish announces grain regulation meetings

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Agriculture will host five town hall meetings to discuss the state grain regulation program, which on July 1 was transferred from the Public Service Commission to the department.

"This is an opportunity for grain elevator managers, operators and others in the grain industry to learn about the transfer of the program, our inspection process and upcoming changes to the program," Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. Goehring will facilitate the meetings, which will include discussion on separate but related interim legislative study on the topic.

Here is the schedule:

• Mandan: Monday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m. at the Farm Credit Services of Mandan building meeting room at 1600 Old Red Trail;

• Devils Lake: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m. at the KC Hall at 522 4th St. NE;

• Fargo: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2 p.m. in the NDSU Memorial Union Arikara Room at 1401 Administration Ave.;

• Dickinson: Thursday, Sept. 19, 9 a.m. MDT at the Dickinson State University Agriculture Building at 400 State Avenue; and

• Stanley: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2 p.m. at the Mountrail County South Complex at 8103 61st St. NW.

Goehring will facilitate the meetings and will be available for questions. The Ag Department's grain and livestock licensing division oversees the licensing and bonding of all grain elevators, facility-based grain buyers, and roving grain buyers. For more information on the grain inspection program, visit www.nd.gov/ndda.

The PSC came under fire in the 2019 legislative session in part because of grain companies operated by Hunter Hanson, who created Midwest Grain Trading, a roving grain buyer, and Nodak Grain a grain warehouse company, and ran them like a Ponzi scheme, leaving up to $11.2 million in claims. Hanson, now 22, is scheduled for sentencing on federal fraud charges in November.

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