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This year's crop of Dickinson State University freshman agriculture majors are looking forward to beginning their own adventure in farming and ranching. "I want to eventually own my own farm and ranch," Abby Reidle said at an outdoor picnic Wednesday evening to help celebrate the start of a new school year. "I really loved the cattle on my ranch. That's what I grew up with and that's my passion."
MOTT—Thanks to the drought, the number of fire calls in North Dakota is hitting all-time highs just as the state enters the peak fire season. Greg Wilz, of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, described the scope of the challenges facing volunteer fire departments throughout the state earlier this month at a public meeting in Mott attended by Gov. Doug Burgum.
BEACH—It's a boy's life for 4-year-old Dusty Burman as he goes about his chores on the Sentinel Butte Ranch, feeding the chickens, checking the coop for eggs, tending to the pygmy goats and helping momma 'round the ranch. There's plenty to keep a lad busy. Few other lifestyles afford an opportunity for mother and son to work side by side, yet that was just one of the many appealing qualities that drew Jen Burman from Massachusetts to North Dakota.
DUNN CENTER—Dunn County was built by hand. At the Dunn County Historical Museum In Dunn Center lies enshrined the legacy of handmade history. Much of it hangs from the walls; rusted blades and weighty iron implements of farming and homesteading. Some of it still sings. "It's over 100 years old. It still plays," Susi Weisz, a curator with the museum, said as she tickled the ivories of a stately old piano, a relic from an old-timey saloon. "It's amazing how long these things have stayed with us, with how old they are and in such beautiful condition."
Cattlemen and cowboys will have something to look forward to come the start of September, as the North Dakota State University's Dickinson Research Extension Center hosts its first World Cattlemen Cow Efficiency Congress in Dickinson. "We are striving to find effective beef production systems that will carry us into the next century," Kris Ringwall, director of the Extension Center, stated in a press release. "We are looking at different avenues to do that, and efficiencies and reducing cow costs are the way to do that."
BEACH—The Richard Angus Access Project is reportedly the largest public hunting access in North Dakota. Its owner is putting in time and money to improve its value to people and wildlife, but persistent drought conditions pose challenges. "As a rule. most landowners are pretty good stewards of their property," Byron Richard, a rancher and the owner of Richard Angus Ranch, said on the long drive towards the Access, headed towards one of several gateways into the ranchland sanctuary, located around Beaver Creek just north of Beach.
A relatively new federal pilot insurance program for pasture, rangeland and forage acres was discussed at length at a meeting with ag producers, political leaders and federal officials on Monday. The Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Pilot Insurance Program (PRF) is aimed at providing insurance on those acres, but in practice there remains a lot of variables and a lot of unknowns about the program. For that reason, officials said area farmers may want to be aware of that before they put in their investment.
KILLDEER—The sizzle of burgers mingled with the honk of truck horns, providing the backdrop to the Dunn County Road Day Open House Thursday, which showcased Dunn County's road equipment, its county workers and the skills they employ to keep Dunn County's roadways safe and smooth. "This is the first open house for the county," said Dale Heglund, a director for the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, a division of North Dakota State University.
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., paid a visit to the Stockmen's Livestock Exchange in Dickinson Thursday to meet with area ranchers and ag business leaders to detail federal assistance efforts to cope with the ongoing drought and what can be done to survive it.
It's been 10 years since the Little Missouri Scenic River Commission (LMSRC) met, but as the drought drinks deep from its flows, Gov. Doug Burgum has sought to bring the commission back to solve troubles facing the waterway. The stated purpose of the commission is to "preserve the Little Missouri River as nearly as possible in its present state, which shall mean that the river will be maintained in a free-flowing natural condition."