Our fine four-legged friends

By Caroline Jacobson
Northwest Field Representative

In my short tenure with NDFB, I’ve had a chance to explore country that I would have never been able or had reason to explore. In our great state, there exists quite a variety of farms and ranches. From humongous grain farms that have two combines parked in the shed, to the hobby ranch that has three cows in the backyard, I’ve found one common tie. And no, it is not the awesome Farm Bureau members who live there, but rather, their dogs.

After seeing them at 95 percent of the places I’ve visited, I don’t think I’m unique in my love for dogs. I’d be willing to bet many of you own them for this very reason, if not for the various other purposes they serve.

When trained well, they can be a useful tool. Maybe you utilize them to herd your livestock, or maybe you use them to alert you when visitors come in your yard. They might help you flush and retrieve birds in the fall, or just keep you company in the cab on those endless laps around the field. Whatever rationale a person uses to justify their four-legged friend, I think farm dogs are an integral part of any operation.

For some folks, a dog might not be a viable option, and that’s okay too. Personally, though, I feel very fortunate that I’ve had one around my whole life. I can’t imagine coming home and not seeing that tirelessly happy face and wet nose bounding right for me. I even went out to play a quick game of fetch prior to writing this, just for a little extra inspiration. Hopefully some of my corny ramblings rang true for you.

I look forward to meeting many more pups in my travels, and please, give Fido a scratch for me.

What does a 5th-grader think about ag?

Modern agriculture is a mystery to a lot of people.

Myths abound.

That’s why NDFB provides information about why farmers and ranchers do what they do for people who want to learn the truth.

It’s not easy. To be honest, sometimes it feels like the negative voices are louder and more convincing.

Then something like this comes across your desk; from a fifth-grade student mind you.

Ramsey - Molly Olson 2

And you do a happy dance. Then you have to share, because, well, doggone it, she’s in fifth grade. And she gets it!

What does agriculture mean to me?

By Molly Olson

Agriculture affects my life in a positive way. It makes my life better, and healthier. Agriculture provides me with food, drink, clothing along with other everyday uses. Some of the examples of food that I can get from agriculture are: meat from cows, pigs, lambs and chickens to name a few. Cows also provide me with milk to drink. Cows and pigs provide me with leather that can be made into gloves, shoes, belts, baseball mitts, footballs, basketballs, saddles, etc. We get cotton and wool for shirts, pants, socks, underwear, sheets for your bed and sweaters. Agriculture also provides fruit for us to eat. Agriculture is also important to insects and animals. Agriculture also uses and needs bees for pollination. Animals like deer can eat the corn as well as use it to hide in.

Agriculture plays a huge role to my state of North Dakota as well as many other states. My grandparents plant wheat, which is harvested to be made into flour, as well as durum which is used to make pasta. The flour is then used to make bread and cakes. They also plant hay crops to feed various livestock.

Agriculture creates a large amount of jobs; from the farmer/rancher who will need to hire people to help him/her, the equipment dealerships, to the diesel that the farmer will buy to run his/her equipment. The farmer/rancher will hire people to help plant and harvest the crops. The dealerships hire people to sell equipment, mechanics to fix the equipment and to the parts people. This helps the economy by providing the stores with food that is sold to you and me, the consumer. No matter what we choose to do with our lives, we would not be able to survive without agriculture.

Each and every day, each person on this earth has had to buy some product of agriculture to get them out the door for school or work. At breakfast this morning, all of my food came from some form of agriculture, along with the clothes that I have on, as well as our books, papers and pencils to use in school. As you can see, agriculture is extremely important to our survival.Ramsey - Molly Olson

Ramsey County Farm Bureau sponsored the “What does agriculture mean to me?” essay contest that produced this winning essay. The contest was open to all fifth and sixth grade students in Ramsey County. Molly won $50 from Ramsey County Farm Bureau for her efforts.

If there are more like Molly (and we’re pretty sure there are), the future of agriculture is in good hands.

Best Main Street sign EVER

Small town. Heart of the city. Classic cars. Hometown football. Friendly people. Dragging (or cruising) Main.

More often than not, when you hear the words “Main Street” you are whisked back to that time in your life when you were staking out your independence via four wheels and a carload of friends.

For most of us who grew up in small towns across North Dakota, Main Street (even though it might be an avenue) was where fond memories were made. In bigger cities, like Dickinson and Bismarck, cruising Main was what teenagers did on a Friday and Saturday night.

Sometimes, even when the town didn’t HAVE a street named “Main” they called it that anyway. And sometimes, Main Street wasn’t really a street. Which brings us to the purpose (if there is one) of this post.

NDFB’s Instagram account features a #Friday #mainstreet photo from places around the state. The photos always include the “Main” sign and some feature of that Main Street.

So without further ado, we share the best Main Street, North Dakota sign as seen through the NDFB lens (at least the places that have been visited by the NDFB lens) in the last eight months:

Best Main Street photo everThis is a real place in North Dakota. It isn’t identified on Google Maps as Main Street, but if you look at the satellite imagery, there it is. 47.414257, -99.628834

Follow us on Instagram and get your Friday dose of Main Street, North Dakota!

Getting to know you…

Joey Myers is NDFB’s Director of Organizational Development. She oversees NDFB’s field staff and works with NDFB’s Promotion and Education Committee and Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. She shares a little about herself on the My NDFB Life blog this week!

I grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Velva, North Dakota. A strong passion for animal agriculture was formed at a young age for me. My sister and I started showing livestock through 4-H and FFA. Though my mom would have loved for me to show horses — I grew to love showing pigs.


(Pictured above: Like mom, like daughter. Joey’s mini-me, Dyllyn wins a ribbon showing her pig.)

Summer is an exciting time for my family.  This summer, my six-year-old daughter will be showing her fourth set of pigs! She started showing at the age of three and has become quite the showman over the years. Not only will she have pigs this summer, but goats, a ton of baby calves and even a horse named Pig. I believe raising kids on the farm is the absolute biggest blessing.

After completing my four-year degree at North Dakota State University, I moved to Iowa to sell livestock feed. My time in Iowa was educational and fun, but after a few years I moved back to North Dakota to be closer to family.

Fargo has been my home for many years and it has been a memorable experience. But ever since I moved away from my home ranch, I longed to go back. Now I have that opportunity and I will be moving back to central North Dakota this summer.

My love for agriculture never seems to end. Every night, we sit at our table and discuss what type of foods we are eating and what farmer produced it for us. It is important our youth know where their food comes from. That’s one reason I love my job at NDFB. I get to teach kids how farmers and ranchers put food on their tables.

The ability to educate the world about the nutritional foods farmers and ranchers provide should be a part of our everyday lives. I’m excited to have the opportunity to advocate for agriculture. 



Off the Path in Oliver County

Because we have such a talented group of people on our staff, and they get into all kinds of fun adventures, My NDFB Life is expanding to include posts from other staff members. Aryel Smith is the Southwest Field Representative and had an opportunity to visit an elk farm not too long ago. Enjoy! – Dawn

Most adventures are better when you go off the beaten path. Luckily for those interested in visiting the Red Butte Wapiti Ranch, GPS programs often struggle to get you there on the first try. This is only fitting when you are stopping in to see one of the few elk ranches left in North Dakota.

Located in Oliver County, Dwight and Roberta Grosz’s herd alone is about 10% of all the elk raised in the Peace Garden State. However, the size of his operation does not stop the Grosz Family from knowing each one of their elk personally. Dwight can tell you if a bull or cow, male and female elk, respectively, has a scar or mark on their body. He can explain why it happened and how they cared for the elk.

Dwight Grosz

This cow was bottle fed as a calf by one of the Grosz children and endearingly named Sapphire. She is a lover of hugs, rubs, attention and selfies. I met and spent time with her and a few of the other cows holding a special place in this family’s heart.

Elk Selfie

So, the next time you find yourself lost in the Southwestern part of the state, flustered that you cannot seem to find your way, take a breath and look around. If you are lucky, you might just stumble upon something pretty unique, like and elk that poses for a selfie.

Dog smiles

Oh the jewels you find when you go out on interviews! Yesterday, my colleague Lisa and I interviewed Sara Hatlewick about being a finalist in the Miss American Angus competition. After the interview, we followed her around a little while she did chores.

Today, while sorting through the footage, I came across this gem: Sarah’s dog smiling for the camera.

I was laughing about the fact that the dog’s tail hit the camera, not about the smile. I didn’t realize she smiled until I reviewed the footage.

I laughed out loud when I saw it, and knew I just had to share it with you! I hope it brings a smile to your face too!


New look, same dedication

NDFB has a new look, but our commitment to North Dakota and agriculture have never been stronger.

I love North Dakota and  I deeply appreciate the never-give-up spirit of those who belong to and volunteer their time to NDFB. I am thankful that so many great people share the values that NDFB holds dear: Freedom, responsibility, opportunity and self-reliance. These values are what made our country great. And standing up for these values makes NDFB a shining example for our state’s future. NDFB is doing what needs to be done to ensure my children and yours will have opportunities to stay — and prosper —  in this beautiful state we call home.

What can you get for $5.61?

Click the shopping tab in Google and search for “things that cost $5.61.” What do you get?

How ’bout a 2 oz. promotional heaven carabiner bottle?  (I didn’t even know what a carabiner was! Had to look it up!)

What about a 50-count bottle of vegetarian B-12 tablets?

Or a “geo recycled notebook?”

One of many books, (I counted seven $5.61 books in a row on page two of my search.)

All fine choices, but quite frankly, I’m putting my $5.61 on an all-American Independence Day meal. And we’re talking a hamburger, pork spare ribs, a hotdog, potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, watermelon, ketchup, mustard and American cheese.

Yep. You read that right. American Farm Bureau did a July 4th Cookout survey and that meal for 10 people comes to $5.61 per person.

CS15_075 July 4th Marketbasket Survey_2015It’s amazing, really, when you think about it. We can buy a book. Or eat a whole meal with family and friends.

Food is so affordable in this country, it has allowed most of us to think about everything BUT how fortunate we are to have the amazing food system — starting with our farmers and ranchers — that we have.

So this year, instead of succumbing to the food scare of the week that is fueled by people looking to make a buck or two on fear, ask a farmer why they do what they do and how they are continually looking for ways to improve and provide us all with the bountiful food we have become accustomed to.

And enjoy that burger, hotdog, spare ribs and potato salad with your friends and family.

Happy eating! And happy Independence Day!