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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.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — The trustee for a lake home in Minnesota involved in the McM Inc. farm bankruptcy case has denied any fraud and said the trust should not have to cough up money for creditors of the bankrupt farm. McM — a large farm based at St. Thomas, N.D. — filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Feb. 10, 2017. The McM trustee alleged a transfer of a lake place in 2015 was improper and that value should be returned to McM Inc. The lake property is at 41106 County Road 126, Detroit Lakes.
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.
GRAND FORKS — North Dakota and Minnesota are two of the top states in the U.S. to be hurt — or helped — by the openness of U.S.-Cuba trade policies, a recent report says. A study report was prepared by C. Parr Rosson, head of the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University, William Messina, an agricultural economist at the University Florida, and Steven Zahniser, agricultural economist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
FARGO — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shon Hastings in Fargo approved a mediated settlement among major secured creditors in the McM Inc. farm bankruptcy on Thursday, divvying up the $9.1 million in cash to be paid out by Friday, Dec. 29. The Dec. 28 settlement allows 14 cents on the dollar, overall, but only for secured creditors — nothing so far for unsecured creditors, such as workers or laborers.
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.
CANDO, N.D. — Excuse her, but Carie Moore would like to share words of support on behalf of ... pigs. Moore, 40, is a farmer, mother of four and a professional soil conservationist at Cando. But she wants to speak up on behalf of the pig farming industry as a veteran of a variety of large-scale dairy and pig farms from 2000 to 2010. Today, Moore works in soil conservation at Cando, and farms with her husband, Jason, at nearby Rocklake.