FARGO, N.D. — Nick Sinner was promoted April 1 to a program manager post with the Northern Crops Institute of Fargo, whose purpose is to help educate domestic and foreign buyers of northern-grown crops.

The NCI, located on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, is supported by commodity groups and legislative support in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana. In Sinner’s new post, he works with commodity groups, state and federal government agencies and private industry — in addition to participating in outreach efforts at industry meetings and shows.

Sinner says there were plans for 23 courses this year. “The COVID-19 has put a bit of a hitch in that,” Sinner said. ”We didn’t want to cancel any but we’re postponing and hoping to carry through as many of those as we can.”

Sinner will have special areas of responsibility in barley, malt quality, ethanol and industrial hemp usage.

Sinner, 63, is at home with the region’s agriculture. He has lived in Fargo but commuted to Owatonna, Minn., to work with the Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Association, working as president and chief executive officer from January 2016 to December 2017. (That dealers association merged with the North Dakota Implement Dealers Association in January 2019. The three-state group was rebranded as the Pioneer Equipment Dealers Association on April 1, 2019.)

Before that, Sinner served as executive director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association from March 2004 to December 2014. And before that he was executive administrator of the North Dakota Barley Council from October 2002 to March 2004.

And still before that he was a farmer. He graduated in accounting from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and joined a farm operated by his father, Tom Sinner, an original board member of American Crystal Sugar Co. Nick was a member of the Red River Sugarbeet Growers Assocation and was the association president from 1995 to 1999.

NCI’s crop mix has changed over the years, increasing its focus on corn and soybeans with the rise in the acreage of those crops to the north and west, but also the pulse crops in the west. Sinner says his satisfaction is in helping producers find markets and profit.