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Devils Lake, ND, farm show celebrates anniversary

The first Lake Region Extension Roundup 35 years ago was a relatively modest one-day event that focused on sunflowers, the hot crop of the day. Over time, Roundup has grown into a north-central North Dakota tradition, a two-day affair that examin...

The first Lake Region Extension Roundup 35 years ago was a relatively modest one-day event that focused on sunflowers, the hot crop of the day. Over time, Roundup has grown into a north-central North Dakota tradition, a two-day affair that examines a wide range of topics and issues.

"It's been 35 years, and we're still going," says Bill Hodous, Ramsey County Extension Service agent, a Roundup organizer. "We're focusing on that (the anniversary) this year."

This year's event, set for Jan. 6 and 7 at the Memorial Building in downtown Devils Lake, N.D., is expected to once again draw about 700 people. Speakers, primarily from the extension service, commodity groups and private companies, will address topics including wheat, dry beans, cattle, land rents and the farm bill.

It's sponsored by the Crop Improvement Associations of Benson, Cavalier, Nelson, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner counties and the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

All the sessions are free and open to the public. Registration isn't required. Free breakfast and lunch will be offered both days. Continuing education credits are available for certified crop advisers.

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Roundup has three featured speakers this year.

At 1 p.m. Jan. 6, Dave Franzen, soil scientist with the NDSU Extension Service, will speak on the history of phosphate export from North Dakota.

At 3 p.m. Jan. 6, Leon Osborne, a University of North Dakota weather expert, will speak on expanding methods of multi-season weather prediction.

At 2:30 p.m. Jan. 7, Randy Martinson, managing partner of Fargo, N.D.-based Progressive Ag, will speak on marketing.

Both days include a number of concurrent sessions from 9 a.m. to mid-afternoon. The list includes:

Tuesday, Jan. 6:

• 9 a.m.: Weed seed bank management, Tom Peters, weed science specialist with the NDSU Extension Service.

• 10 a.m.: The advantages of cover crops, Justin Zahradka, a producer and rancher from Lawton, N.D.

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• 11 a.m.: 2015 spring wheat outlook, Neal Fisher, executive director of the North Dakota Wheat commission.

• 2 p.m.: Spray drift reduction, John Nowatzki, agricultural machine systems specialist, NDSU Extension Service.

Wednesday, Jan. 7:

• 9 a.m.: Farm and ranch succession planning, Lori Scharmer, family economics specialist, NDSU Extension Service.

• 10 a.m.: Ag smart phone apps and ag software, Brian Schott, senior network engineer, BluePrint IT Solutions and "Tech Talk" radio host.

• 11 a.m.: Storing and handling vaccines, Lisa Pederson, beef quality assurance specialist, Dickinson (N.D.) Research Extension Center.

• 2 p.m.: Managing white mold in dry beans, Michael Wunsch, plant pathologist, Carrington (N.D.) Research Extension Center.

Roundup has never been canceled, despite occasional weather difficulties.

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The event usually draws a slightly bigger crowd in bad weather, because warm, sunny conditions encourage farmers to stay home and truck stored grain to town, Hodous says.

Many of the farmers who attended Roundup through the years have retired, but new attendees have replaced them, he says.

Roundup -- spread throughout the basement and upper level of the Memorial Building and the basement of the adjacent Ramsey County Courthouse -- can get a bit snug. Organizers have considered moving the event to other, larger venues in Devils Lake, but keeping it at the Memorial Building provides valuable continuity, Hodous says.

"We like it here," he says.

For more information, visit www.ag . ndsu.edu/ramseycountyextension/lake-region-extension-roundup.

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