Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — It was a few years back, Will Nissen remembers, when beekeepers in North Dakota started getting calls from hobby beekeepers asking whether there were regular meetings of beekeepers groups, apparently a common practice in some places. Alas, there were no such meetings, but Nissen, the president of the North Dakota Beekeepers Association, suggested a portion of the association's annual convention be allocated to sessions on hobby beekeeping. The association first held such sessions last year. "Last year we had quite the turnout," Nissen says.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Farmers and ranchers, it's often said, are equity rich and cash poor. Most make due just fine that way, but there are times when things get uncomfortable — including Sunday mornings when the offering plate goes by. Ranchers, explains Keith Kost, executive director of STEER Inc., usually have equipment, land and feed. But they don't always have a lot of unencumbered cash to donate.
"People think ranching is so idyllic, like all we do is ride horses to check cows all day. They don't see this part. Maybe if they did, they'd appreciate their next meal a little more."
PETTIBONE, N.D. — Most of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana have experienced drought conditions this year. Livestock producers, in particular, have been the focus of relief efforts in the region. But a North Dakota couple worries one program is not delivering as advertised.
HALLIDAY, N.D. — Even though much of the summer was dry in western North Dakota, Bonnie Woodworth says honey production has held on due to some late summer rains. "Things perked up pretty well," says Woodworth, of Woodworth Honey & Bee Co. "We ended up with a pretty decent crop."
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota has had its first confirmed case of anthrax this year in Sioux County, where eight head of cattle died out of a herd of about 200. State Veterinarian Susan Keller says the surviving portion of the herd has been vaccinated, and the cattle are now under quarantine as required by state law. The case was confirmed Sept. 21 by the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory based on samples submitted by a veterinarian with the Mandan Veterinary Clinic.
"Mom, when can I be in 4-H?" the little voice in the backseat asked. In a second, I imagined Reanna showing lambs or steers, giving a mean set of livestock judging reasons and displaying a gorgeous piece of leatherwork a few years down the road. But I just told her I'd think about it. It sometimes is hard to look at these two little girls of mine and not see myself. Mostly, it's because we look alike, but there's also some sort of personality quirk (or defect, depending on who you ask) that makes us understand each other.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Even with record heat searing through the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, steady crowds still shuffled through the first day of the Big Iron Farm Show. The sprawling show, with implements of various colors and equipment of all sizes and types, began on Tuesday, Sept. 12, and will continue through Thursday, Sept. 14. Bryan Schultz, Red River Valley Fair Association general manager, said he expects 70,000 to 80,000 people to come to the show this year.
On Sept. 5, something happened in Adams County that hasn't happened in at least four years: The county Farm Bureau held an annual meeting. Tyler Kostelecky, one of the younger farmers getting the group back up and running, says only six or seven people attended the meeting. But he considers it a start. At 35, Kostelecky is among the older members of the new Adams County Farm Bureau. The small collection didn't join Farm Bureau for social reasons or to add something to their resumes.
HELENA, Mont. — As wildfires continue to burn grasslands and forests across Montana and drought continues to worsen, the Montana Department of Agriculture has expanded its hay lottery. Drought conditions gradually have worsened across Montana throughout the summer, and the Sept. 7 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor for the first time had the entire state in some category of drought condition, from abnormally dry to the most severe category, exceptional drought. More than a quarter of the state now is considered in exceptional drought.