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Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce meets to discuss ag, events

Dickinson Chamber of Commerce.JPG
The Dickinson Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting on Nov. 19, 2019. Photo by Nathanial A. Barrera. The Dickinson Press.

On Tuesday, Nov 19, the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting at their building on the corner of 3rd Ave. W and 3rd St. W. to discuss agronomic projects in the city.

Although the assembly, which convenes every third Tuesday, discussed past business and community outreach projects, this meeting’s main focus was on future affairs.

“We’re basically in between events for the Chamber right now so we’re just planning upcoming 2020 events,” Chairwoman of the Chamber, Lavy Steiner, told the Press.

The Chamber hosts four contests throughout the year, including a photo contest in which those eagle-eyed citizens of Dickinson can submit their best agriculture-related photography to the Chamber of Commerce, who will vote on which pic they enjoy the most.

“Nature, equipment, crops, livestock, working people: That kind of thing,” Steiner said, listing off possible subjects for the creative, outdoors contest.

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An addition to cash prize and postcards, the winner’s photo and profile will be featured in the digital marketing and will also be available for purchase as a postcard.

The council casted their October votes in favor of a photo of a field of sunflowers, softly lit by a glowing North Dakota sun at dusk, captured by resident, Katherine Plessner.

“We just finished up the October photo contest and we are working on the year end winner and the year end prizes,” the Chairwoman said. “We had some really good submissions this year; we had around 40-50 submissions on every contest, so that was really great.”

Next, the Chamber of Commerce discussed their upcoming Agriculture Livestock Forum, which usually takes place around February of each year.

Last year, the congregation’s guest speaker was Temple Grandin, an autistic professor and researcher from Colorado State University who advocates the welfare of animals utilized by agronomics and harvest.

According to Steiner, who attended last year’s conference, “It was an insight into how the animal feels when being worked and how (agronomists) can build their working facilities better.”

Overall, the forum is a chance for farmers and ranchers in the area to meet and hear from speakers about agriculture-related products, interesting information in the industry and even marketing.

Although the Chairwoman was hestitant to drop any possible names she did say that “(the council is) working on getting the new speaker for 2020 in place.”

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Finally, the group made plans for the 2020 installment of it’s Banquet in the Field event. With a theme titled, “Western Style,” this year’s celebration will focus especially hard on creating an opportunity for agricultural producers to sit down with non-agricultural consumers to converse about how production agriculture gets to the consumer’s table. In short, the council hosts a meal in the middle of a willing participant’s field, literally amongst their crops.

“It is an event where we invite people who are not in the agriculture industry to come out and enjoy the evening,” Steiner said. “From the seed to the planted seed, growing plants to the finished product, they can get a sample of different products that have been cooked up out that commodity that we grew right here in Southwest North Dakota.”

Last year’s gathering, which was hosted by Arrow K Farms, near Belfield, ND, was a massive success.

In a video produced by the Chamber of Commerce about last year’s event, Doug Goehring, North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner marveled at the banquet: “What you’ve done here, is really created an atmosphere and a venue for people to understand the relationship between food, agriculture and our community and I think it’s great.”

“(The general public) thinks its (food) comes out of a container they buy at the grocery store,” Kurt Froelich, an extension agent with NDSU and the Stark/Billings County Extension Office said. “They don’t understand how some of those commodities actually get to their tables.

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