The North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission awarded funding requests for six projects totaling $233,950 at its quarterly meeting. APUC is a program of the North Dakota Department of Commerce which administers grant programs for researching and developing new and expanded uses for North Dakota agricultural products. The grants can be used for basic and applied research, marketing and utilization, farm diversification, nature based agri-tourism, prototype and technology, and technical assistance. The next APUC board hearing will be held February 20, 2014 in Grafton. Applications for the February meeting must be received by January 1st
Preliminary prices received by farmers for spring wheat for November 2013 averaged $6.55 per bushel, a decrease of 19 cents from the October price according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Durum wheat, at $7.20 per bushel, increased 12 cents from the previous month. Winter wheat averaged $6.10 per bushel, a decrease of 42 cents from October. The preliminary November corn price, at $4.00 per bushel, decreased 42 cents from last month. The preliminary November soybean price, at $12.30 per bushel, was unchanged from last month. The preliminary November all dry edible bean price, at $35.40 per cwt, decreased $2.30 from last month. The pinto price for October averaged $37.40 per cwt while the navy price averaged $36.10 per cwt. The preliminary November all sunflowers price, at $20.60 per cwt, is down $1.30 from the previous month. The preliminary November flaxseed price, at $13.30 per bushel, is down 20 cents from last month. The preliminary November canola price averaged $20.00 per cwt, a decrease of $1.00 from October. The November alfalfa hay price, at $105.00 per ton, is down $3.00 from last month. The other hay price, at $66.00 per ton, is down $2.00 from last month. The preliminary November prices for fresh and processing potatoes were withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple named Langdon-native Wade Mann director of the Office of Administrative Hearings Wednesday. Mann will replace Allen Hoberg who is retiring Dec. 13 after serving more than 22 years as director. Dalrymple said that Wade is an excellent choice for the important position and that he's confident his strong and diverse background in administrative law will serve him well as director. Mann has also served as a special assistant attorney general and an assistant attorney general representing the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the NDIC Oil and Gas Division and a number of commodity groups. In those capacities, he handled numerous administrative hearings, as well as served as a hearing officer for the NDIC Oil and Gas Division
North Dakota Farm Bureau members have agreed to try to bring an initiated measure on property tax reform to the state’s voters next fall. President Doyle Johannes says farmers want reform. He says “There was a lot of talk about bringing Measure 2 back to eliminate property tax. It just seems like the general popular consent is that we need to do something with property taxes because we just haven’t seen the relief. I think that’s why we’re seeing a lot of these bond issues at schools getting shot down. I think the public is getting tired of no end to the taxes and no real relief in what’s going on.” Once the measure’s language is approved by the Secretary of State, Farm Bureau will start circulating petitions. They need roughly 13,000 signatures by August to get it on the November 2014 ballot. In other policy action Saturday, Farm Bureau delegates reconfirmed their desire to decouple conservation compliance from crop insurance
Last week two turkeys were chosen from a farm near Badger Minnesota to receive this years national pardon from president Barack Obama. What you may not have heard is that a another bird was chosen from the same flock to receive a pardon in their home state. The 3rd bird was at the Minnesota Capital yesterday with Governor Mark Dayton. Although the 3rd turkey's pardon is more like a brief stay of execution...but at least he got to meet the governor. Minnesota produces more turkeys that any other state, but does not have the traditional pardoned turkey. Instead, they invite a bird to the capital for a day, and proceed to look for the nearest mouth to feed. The turkey is usually donated to the salvation army in St Paul to provide meals for the less fortunate. But if it makes you feel better, Since the 3rd Turkey was part of the flock considered for the White House pardon, he did get far more TLC than the average stuffed bird. while he was still here anyway. His nickname was!
Grafton Mayor Chris West informed the audience at last night's 55th Annual Chamber Awards Banquet that US Senator John Hoeven will be speaking at the Grafton City Hall on Thursday Morning December 5th. The special meeting is for city leaders, bankers and individuals who have been or will be affected by the flood rate hikes as a result of the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The Act has resulted in substantial increases to Grafton's flood insurance premiums which is causing major concerns over the future growth of the City. Mayor West says Hoeven will be in town to discuss the possibility of pushing the enforcement of the Act down the road a few years. Hopefully long enough for Grafton's flood diversion project to be completed. The diversion, once finished, would take the city out of the flood plane all together. West said the goal is to end the federal flood insurance requirement for Grafton so that residents could spend their dollars in the community inste!
!ad. He noted that Grafton residents currently pay half a million dollars annually to flood insurance premiums.
The 55th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards banquet was held last night at Market Place on 8th in Grafton. The event recognizes Grafton residents who go above and beyond to make the city a better place to live. Special awards again this year included teacher, citizen and boss of the year with a brand new honor awarded last night for employee of the year. Grafton Middle School Principal Mike Hanson presented the award for teacher of the year to Beth Anderson Molde for 35 years of teaching elementary. Hanson says Anderson Molde goes above and beyond to insure all students receive the education they need. He noted that she started as an ELL teacher last year, instructing migrant students, highlighting Anderson Molde's creation of the "Learning across the Miles Program" which has helped shrink the learning gap that migrant students face. Though reluctant to give a speech, Molde thanked those in attendance for allowing them to teach their children and grand children, noting she had also instructed some of those in the audience as well. Later, Kiwanis Club president and Vo Tech Director Mark Wagner was named Boss of year. In a strange twist Wagner had the privilage of presenting the award to himself. KXPO's Brian Van Bruggen, better known as Brian James won citizen of the year for his countless hours of community service with the hospitality committee, relay for life and countless other committees and projects over the years. Brand new to the banquet this year was the award for Employee of the Year which went to the Squire Shop's Sharon Fee. Fee has worked at the Squire Shop for over 18 years and was recognized for her ability to know what the customer needs and wants and her prompt service.
A 5th grade teacher in the Park River, North Dakota school district is facing criminal charges for having sex with a teenage girl. 25 year-old Justin Kiefer is charged with corruption of a minor, a felony. Kiefer was arrested Friday afternoon after a 16 year-old girl told a Walsh county sheriff's investigator that she had sex with Kiefer twice earlier this month. He's been placed on administrative leave. Superintendent Kirk Ham says Kiefer was hired prior to this school year. Kiefer is also the girl's hockey coach in Park River. Bail for Kiefer is set at 25-thousand dollars. The Charge is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and or a $10,000 fine. Kiefer's next court date is set for December 2nd at 9AM.
An official with the national weather service in grand forks says the agency's crystal ball for the upcoming winter season is a little out of focus. Greg gust says a couple of things that typically influence weather patterns that pass over this part of the world are absent this year making it tougher to estimate what the weather will be like over the next few months. But Gust says forecasters have spotted some general trends that increase the odds that the winter months will average out to be colder than usual. He says if that trend holds true that will have an impact on the snowfall totals for the season as well.
An annual survey conducted by 24/7 Wall St. ranks North Dakota the best-run state in the nation for the second consecutive year. The national survey evaluates hundreds of data sets including statistics on financial health, standard of living and government services to determine how well each state is managed. The top five best-run states were: North Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska and Utah. The study determines how well states are run by looking at fiscal management, taxes, exports, and GDP growth by sectors, as well as, quality of life components such as poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, crime and foreclosure rates. The best-run states had certain characteristics in common, including well-managed budgets, high-living standards and low-unemployment. High-ranking states also demonstrated stable fiscal management and have earned high credit ratings. In the survey, 24/7 Wall St. noted that North Dakota’s GDP grew by 13.4 percent last year, fueling the nation’s strongest state economy. North Dakota’s economy has outpaced all other states for the past three years.