College student plans for Extension career

North Dakota State University senior plans a return to Divide County.

Travis Binde of Crosby, N.D. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)

CROSBY, N.D. — Travis Binde is a senior majoring in animal science and general agriculture at North Dakota State University. Since the spring of 2019 he has been president of both NDSU Collegiate Farm Bureau and the Saddle & Sirloin Club.

S&S runs its signature “Little International” event, and also helps man the live animal booth for an annual Living Ag Classroom event that this year drew 2,300 fourth graders to the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo, from Feb. 24-28.

It’s all to help young people get a taste of the basics of agricultural production and processing in the region.

“We also host our own event called Kiddie Days, coming up at the end of April,” Binde says. “That is purely run by our club members, spread out around Shepperd Arena” on the NDSU campus. “We have cattle, sheep, pigs, chicks and try to bring in a horse as well.” That’s for pre-school to first-graders.

Binde, 23, graduated from Divide County High School in North Dakota in 2015.


“I originally came to NDSU to pursue an ag education degree,” he says. “That was the only place in the state to do it. Knowing the rich here in agriculture, with the programs here at NDSU, I figured it would be a good fit as well.”

Binde grew up on a farm and ranch and was involved in 4-H and FFA programs.

The family got out of farming in his later high school years, in the wake of two years of drought. His father was doing custom grain hauling and his mother worked at a local elevator.

“I’m planning to go back home to Crosby to be the county Extension agent,” he says. He accepted the position in January and will start June 1. He will replace an ag and natural resources agent who left the post in August 2019. He will a join a family and consumer science agent that is shared with a neighboring county.

“Then, I’ll hopefully be starting up my own farm and ranch there, or restarting what we already had there," he says.

He expects it will be a cattle sideline — probably a seedstock enterprise that produces bulls and females that are sold breed-specific, and raise crops to feed those animals.

Mikkel Pates is an agricultural journalist, creating print, online and television stories for Agweek magazine and Agweek TV.
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