She was in an orange t-shirt leaning up against the hotel wall and dragging on a cigarette when she asked “Are you with those farmers in there?” I told her I was and she said “Thank you for what you do. You feed us.” The event was the North Dakota Livestock Alliance’s (NDLA) PIG, Diversifying for Profitability gathering at the Fargo Holiday Inn this week. With Minnesota and South Dakota well established in the hog raising industry, the NDLA hoped to educate and promote the hog industry by holding this conference.
We have few pork facilities in North Dakota and a lot of very good potential sites around the state so this value added agricultural option could help tap into the many millions of dollars we leave on the table. A panel of those who are currently involved included the Quandt Family Farm near Cogswell, German Farms of Oakes and from Cando, Hexagon Farms. They told of getting the permits required, being transparent to the community and other factors of operations, answering questions from the audience as well. Exhibitors of all types were in booths displaying bio-digesters, equipment types, etc. Your NDSGA was there because, especially with the new crush plant coming in Spiritwood, it would be nice for you to have a local market for the meal to go with shipping it to China. Duh.
The Bank of North Dakota was there to explain the considerable incentives for value added projects (which NDSGA has vigorously supported when brought to the Legislature). If you are interested, do contact the NDLA to help you. They also brought on people who specialize in helping producers get going – A1 Development Solutions out of South Dakota. The North Dakota producers mentioned above stressed that the manure produced was of prime importance, not to mention how diversifying their operations really has been helpful to endure the commodity swings that you are all too familiar with. While accepting the praise from the lady smoking outside, I am not a farmer and wanted to pass the compliment on to you.