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Three area FFA members have recently been nominated as finalists for the most prestigious North Dakota FFA awards, to be awarded June 4-7 at the state FFA Convention in Fargo at North Dakota State University's campus. FFA members are recognized for achievement in Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), which mostly consists of students learning through an experience outside of the classroom. Out of the applications from schools in North Dakota, four finalists are chosen.
According to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the 2017 bighorn sheep population survey shows a decrease. "The decline in the 2017 count reflects the spread of bacterial pneumonia to three previously unaffected herds and consequently the adult and lamb mortalities that followed," said Brett Wiedmann big-game biologist, on North Dakota Game and Fish's website. In a survey taken in March, there is an 11 percent decrease in population from 2016, with a minimum of 265 bighorn sheep. This is also a 9 percent decrease within a five-year average.
If you are looking for a new place to eat or enjoy an evening in Dickinson, the Astoria Hotel and Event Center has added a restaurant and bar to their list of amenities. "I want to start putting a light on this place because it's either people don't quite know what we have to offer or people don't even know about us," said Kelly Heimbach, who works in sales at the hotel and event center. The restaurant opened in late December but held a grand opening Thursday, April 12.
DICKINSON, N.D.—The black-tailed prairie dogs of western North Dakota are nothing new for the grasslands and pastures. However, while some people may see them as "cute" little balls of fur, others see them as pests. "In simplest terms, prairie dogs, being herbivores, remove vegetation," said Treva Slaughter, public affairs officer for the Forest Service and Dakota Prairie Grasslands. The black-tailed prairie dogs feed off of vegetation, seeds and insects. Prairie dogs from small colonies and live in complex networks of tunnels with numerous openings, called "towns."
Sen. John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, visited Dickinson State University Wednesday morning to discuss the the recent commodity tariff threats from China, the 2018 Farm Bill, as well as regulations on agriculture and the drought with producers. Hoeven assured those in attendance that the recent tariffs are just proposed right now and there will be plenty of negotiations and opportunity for public comment before they are finalized.
Jan Fields, a longtime resident and teacher of Dickinson has had some struggles in her life but always looked to the brighter side of things. "My greatest life struggle would have been completing college, that was my dream," Fields said. Fields said her parents couldn't support her financially but she was fortunate to have a backup plan which was her uncle.
The ethanol plant owned by Red Trail Energy LLC reported an ethanol spill Thursday at their operation approximately one-half mile east of Richardton. "It was a transfer valve similar to your garden hose—little more complex than that—but they just didn't get it closed all the way," said Bill Suess of the North Dakota Department of Health. The leak was not noticed by workers and resulted in 202 barrels, or 8,484 gallons, of ethanol spilled. Suess said that the spill will have no direct effect on the ethanol plant.
The drought of 2017 was tough for North Dakota's agriculture industry, leaving farmers and ranchers across the state hoping that the recent moisture and sunshine will be just what the ground needs to prevent it from continuing. "There's a thing with drought and dryness, we can look and see that we are dryer than normal but that can change overnight," Kris Ringwall, director of the Dickinson Research and Extension Center, said. This time of the year the ground is still frozen from winter, which means the moisture cannot always soak into the ground.
The Dickinson State University Rodeo Council will be hosting a membership drive on Friday, March 23, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the DSU Heritage Foundation at 230 8th Ave. W. in Dickinson. "We are looking to add some more members to our rodeo council," Alicia Erickson, DSU Director of Alumni Relations, said. "We are hoping to get some more volunteers involved with it to help with our fundraising efforts."
The Stark/Billings County NDSU Extension 4-H and the Dickinson High School FFA Chapter have been attending judging competitions and remaining active in their local clubs. Ten 4-H members recently attended a livestock judging competition in Fargo and "did very well, finishing in sixth place as a team," said Kurt Froelich, the Stark/Billings County Extension Agent. Froelich added that a couple of them were pretty young but it was good experience for them.