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Urquhart joins the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education

Mark Urquhart has officially started his four year term for the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.

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Mark Urquhart looks forward to serving his four years on the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education. Photo courtesy of Mark Urquhart

Mark Urquhart recently joined the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.

Urquhart began his term on July 1, 2021. He will serve a four-year term and represent North Dakota State University Extension’s Multicounty Program for both units 7 and 8, which encompass a 10 county area in south central North Dakota.

While Urquhart has a deep passion for the agricultural industry, he did not have the typical agricultural experience growing up. But that did not stop him from finding his way onto a farm at a young age.

“I am not from a family farm, but I started working on one when I was 10 years old, mowing grass and weeding gardens and milking cows,” he said.

Urquhart is originally from Nova Scotia, but has been living in North Dakota for almost two decades. After graduating from high school, he went on to pursue a degree in the field of agriculture from Nova Scotia Agricultural College, which it was called at the time.

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“We’ve been blessed to live in North Dakota for the last 19 years and I am quite proud to live here because it is such an agriculture friendly state. Farmers are very well-respected and there are a lot of top producers around here” Urquhart said. “We’re quite humbled to live in such a great ag community.”

Urquhart believes SBARE greatly helps North Dakota farmers and producers, by collecting credible data from every corner of the state. Their goal is to gather data from all the agricultural groups and figuring out where to prioritize North Dakota State University Extension research activities. In terms of legislation, it also sets out to serve as one cohesive voice in North Dakota agriculture.

“There are a lot of regional growing differences all across the state of North Dakota,” he said. “All the technologies and equipment that’s great and brought agriculture to a new era here, but what’s going to keep the industry sustainable from an economic and environmental standpoint is giving more farmers tools in the tool box, namely varieties.”

Urquhart looks forward to serving his four years in SBARE and helping close the disconnect between farmers and the public.

“There is a huge disconnect between the field and the fork. Now that we’re two and three generations removed from the farm, there is a lot of misinformation out there about the industry. But I will tell you what, there’s no people on the earth that are more concerned about the environment or sustainability than the farmer,” Urquhart said.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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