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MELROSE, Minn. — The "We Do Cows" billboards make a big impression on Interstate 94 as people travel to and from the Twin Cities. Ag-savvy motorists often smile at the slogan, but few know Leedstone Inc. is a creative and transformative business in the region's animal health industry. Leedstone is led by veterinarian brothers, David and Dan Tomsche. David, 61, is Leedstone's president and chief executive officer. Dan, 62, is vice president.
FARGO — North Dakota farmland sale values declined by 3 percent in 2017, following 8 and 9 percent annual declines for the prior two years, respectively, according to an annual ag land survey. Ag land prices in the Red River Valley on the eastern side of the state declined by 9 percent in 2017, while values elsewhere ranged from declines of 2 percent to increases of 3 percent, the report from North Dakota Chapter of the American Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers said.
FORMAN, N.D. — A deal's a deal, but maybe it's not if the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes it, say Danny "Dan" Zirnhelt and his wife, Sherry Zirnhelt. The retired farmers and custom grain harvesters from Forman successfully appealed a Conservation Reserve Program contract payment dispute to the USDA's National Appeals Division. The Zirnhelts won partial victory but still lost $15,000. It all started in August 2015, when the Zirnhelts signed a 15-year contract.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Meet Matt Faul and his identical twin brother, Jesse. The red-haired pair owns Red E LLC (also known as "Red Engineering) of West Fargo, an engineering services and manufacturing support company — the success of which signifies that the region's storied agricultural equipment heritage will continue.
WAHPETON, N.D. — Farmers in cooperatives are fighting a "pretty huge" change in the federal tax reform package making its way through Congress. Curt Wickstrom, president and chief executive officer Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative of Wahpeton, says he's told co-op members to contact their congressional delegations to effect "some type of correction" before the bill passes.
WAHPETON, N.D. — A 93-acre farmland parcel west of Wahpeton soon will be a new kind "land lab" for the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. A free land lease arrangement from a donor runs for three growing seasons, says Craig Zimprich, the school's agriculture department chairman. The arrangement goes into effect this coming season. This past season the field was in soybeans, and it has been largely in a corn-soybean rotation. The field is about a mile from the NDSCS campus on the west edge of Wahpeton, so it's handy for student involvement.
FARGO — They're far from the drought, but North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory chemists on the Fargo campus are in the middle of the action, running tests for ranchers who want to know their animals are getting safe feed and water. Brett Webb, director of the lab, say tests are about six-fold from non-drought years. Excessive nitrates in feed or water can lead to cattle losses or abortions. Typically the lab does 20 to 30 of the tests in non-drought years. So far this year, they have done about 300 for water and about the same for forages.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Harvest crews are in northeast North Dakota this weekend to take emergency Conservation Reserve Program hay, though some haying on CRP lands won’t happen until the first week of August.
FT. PIERRE, S.D. — Central South Dakota has had a bit of a rain revival, but many areas have back-slid into drought. Brothers Pete and Rick Severson farm and ranch in conjunction south of Onida, S.D. After an excruciatingly dry May, they got 1.2 inches on June 11, another .3 inches on June 15, then smatterings after that. They're still about 3.6 inches below average rainfall for the growing season.
FARGO — North Dakota State University served up a heaping helping of nutritional and food safety information along with flavor enhancing tips at the season's first BBQ Bootcamp event. The Fargo event on May 23 was the first in this city for a few years. It was a sell-out with 180 registrations, said Eric Berg, an NDSU meat science professor and co-director for the event at the NDSU Beef Cattle Research Complex.