Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The 20- and 30-somethings sat on one side of the room. Folks with graying and thinning hair sat on the other. Perry Aasness, standing in the front of the room, looked at the younger group and said, "Part of your job is to be able to tell your story."
Grand Forks, N.D. — A staple of the area farm meeting season is returning, this time with a special first-day addition. The 2017 Prairie Grain Conference — considered by some to be the unofficial start of the farm meeting season in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota — will be held Dec. 13-14 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D.
Those of us involved in modern agriculture sometimes call it "the disconnect," or the disparity in how farmers and the general public view food and our food system. Aggies lament, and justifiably so, the misperceptions and general lack of knowledge that many nonfarmers demonstrate. They think food appears at the supermarket and a handful of giant corporations control virtually all U.S. farmland, among other less-than-sensible ideas.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The general public knows Minnesota for lakes and trees, hockey and Paul Bunyan, and, especially in football season, the Vikings. In agricultural circles, Minnesota is known for corn, soybeans, hogs and, especially around Thanksgiving, turkeys. But cattle, though often overshadowed, play an important role in Minnesota, state cattle industry officials say.
HOPE, N.D. — Nathan Lunde knows a lot about cattle. But the Cooperstown, N.D., rancher doesn't know as much as he wants about farm succession — and that's something he's determined to change. "I've reached the age (60) where I need to start thinking about stepping away, especially since David (his son) has come back," Nathan Lunde said. "Coming here will help with that."
This spring — or the autumn of 2016 for winter wheat and a few other fall-planted crops — Upper Midwest farmers diligently inserted seed into the soil and hoped for cooperative weather. This summer, they began harvesting their fields. Now they’re just about finished.
Farm-town hangouts are the glue, the hub, the social cornerstone of their communities. They're the place to share life's satisfactions, vent daily frustrations and connect with friends and neighbors. Though their menus differ, they offer food and drink. Whether it's scrambled eggs in the morning, burgers and fries at noon, coffee in the afternoon or a beer in the evening, these establishments provide it.
NEKOMA, N.D. — It's November — a Friday, late afternoon — in Nekoma, N.D., population "26 on a good day." Snowflakes dance in the chill breeze before settling to the ground. From as far as 60 miles away, people are leaving their farms, homes and businesses to drive through the dusk over snow-covered roads. They want food and drink. They want camaraderie and companionship. And they know it's all waiting for them here at the Pain Reliever.
Here are the nine other establishments submitted by Agweek readers, along with a sampling of their comments. Photos came from the submitters: Towner Travel Center Location: Towner, N.D. Submitter's comments: "This little slice of heaven has filled the bellies and hearts of its customers with fresh-baked goods, pies, coffee, comfort food and companionship for nearly 30 years. Rebuilt from the ground up in 2010 by a group of local residents." ....................................... Dilli Bar and Grill Location: Stirum, N.D.
Q: What is the Land Stewardship Project? The Land Stewardship Project is a membership organization of about 4,000 households, primarily in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It works through members to foster an ethic of land stewardship, to promote sustainable agriculture and build healthy communities. Q: What do you raise on your own farm?