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Tammy Swift online column sig revised 3-16-21 (1).jpg

Tammy Swift

Tammy has been a storyteller most of her life. Before she learned the alphabet, she told stories by drawing pictures and then dictated the narrative to her ever-patient mother. A graduate of North Dakota State University, she has worked as a Dickinson, N.D., bureau reporter, a Bismarck Tribune feature writer/columnist, a Forum feature reporter, columnist and editor, a writer in NDSU's Publications Services, a marketing/social media specialist, an education associate in public broadcasting and a communications specialist at a nonprofit.
She has returned to The Forum exactly four times throughout her (mumble, mumble)-year career. This time around, she is a business writer. She also continues the award-winning column first introduced to Red River Valley readers when she was a Forum intern in 1986.

She is especially interested in stories of people who rise up after overcoming adversity, anything that is weird or unusual, small businesses in rural areas and cottage industry. She loves reading, dogs, watching movies, board games, drawing, coffee and searching for the world's best chocolate chip cookie (not necessarily in that order).

She can be reached at tswift@forumcomm.com.

John D. Peterson and his business partner Art Weidner grow two varieties of the viney, thirsty hop plant on an 80- by 50-foot plot tucked into the back of Peterson's family farm near Sabin.
Justin Berg and Sydney Glup built two identical tiny houses -- one the conventional way, the other with a hemp-derived material called hempcrete -- to help prove hemp's superiority in terms of energy savings, moisture control and air quality.
Over the years, as Mary Jo Schmid and Brent Larson built a new farmhouse, moved an old barn on the property and steadily made improvements at Crooked Lane Farm, the couple say they didn’t feel so much “retired” as “re-fired.” They’ve opened their doors to so many people — bridal parties, car buffs, blacksmiths and artists — that Crooked Lane has at times become a very crowded lane.
Dead or alive, crickets are in big demand these days. After Pat and Madeline Reviers' plan to raise crickets for high-protein, nutrient-packed cricket flour was temporarily stalled, they've pivoted to sell live crickets. Who will want them? According to Pat, everyone from gecko owners who are facing a nationwide feeder-insect shortage to anglers angling for a highly effective bait.
Dorothy "Dot" Henke founded the business in 2012 from her kitchen in Velva, N.D.
As a way to help local businesses and nonprofits regain financial footing after the economic pressures over the last year, Forum Communications Co., will match dollar-for-dollar what those entities spend on new advertising campaigns through August. Matches can range from a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $10,000 during this four-month period.
Once a former pre-professional ballet dancer, Emma Westman is one of two female service technicians who work out of RDO Equipment’s Moorhead location. She and good friend Makenzie Lako, a service tech in RDO’s construction division, have thrown a wrench in outdated notions of what women “should” do for a living.
Madeline and Pat Revier are cricket farmers, raising the jaunty Jiminies for consumption by high-performance athletes, eco-conscious vegans, people with gluten allergies and anyone else who is willing to hop on the insect-eating bandwagon.