To the editor,

Last Tuesday, Westhope was fortunate to host the North Dakota Petroleum Council's 17th Cookfest at its school.

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Each year, the cookout is held in a western North Dakota small town whose economy relies on oil and gas development. Oil producers pair with a service company from the industry in competition with one another. In Westhope, 14 companies participated; and like their work, they don't mess around when cooking. They served incredible foods for the community, including

brisket, barbecue chicken, ribs and side dishes.

The free event was a wonderful opportunity for our entire community to learn about the Bakken and how its employment is growing, technology is advancing, and place in the world is growing in prominence. It also raised money for our new school playground.

Nearly twice as many people attended the event as live in Westhope and we appreciate the opportunity to show off our community and celebrate the history of the oil industry in our region where many people work and own companies in the industry.

Ty Engstrom

Westhope