Mikkel Pates / Agweek Staff Writer
FARGO -- Financial stresses on farmers and grain elevators should make board members for agriculture-related cooperative more vigilant in their duties, experts say. A September 2018 grain elevator cooperative embezzlement scandal that cropped up at Ashby, Minn., and other instances of malfeasance should awaken companies to the challenges, says John O. Christianson, a certified public accountant and managing partner of Christianson PLLP, at Willmar, Minn.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Hunter Hanson, 21, of Leeds, N.D., is a young man in a hurry. Over the past three years, he has seemed to be an entrepreneurial wonder, registering seven businesses with the state of North Dakota. In early November, the North Dakota Public Service Commission started getting complaints on two of his businesses -- Midwest Grain Trading company and NoDak Grain, both based in Devils Lake.
FLORENCE, S.D. -- Larry Halse grows corn, soybeans and runs a beef cow-calf operation, and, for the past several years, is back into sheep. His most profitable enterprise these days? Sheep.
MILBANK, S.D.—Cheese plants in northeast South Dakota are booming, and that is providing economic opportunity for some farmers and communities in the Interstate 29 corridor, according to industry leaders in the region. Doug Wilke, chief executive officer of Valley Queen Cheese Factory Inc., of Milbank, was one of the officials who met with a half-dozen journalists as part of a value-added dairy tour sponsored by the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development. The tour was coordinated by Development Counsellors International of Denver.
MILBANK, S.D. — Valley Queen Cheese Factory Inc. recently opened the Valley Queen Heritage Center, an interpretive center in downtown Milbank, chronicling its nearly 90 years in cheese making. The space was available, and the company moved a cheese retail store into an available vintage space downtown.
SIDNEY, Mont. — This is the second year in a row for early sugar beet harvests at Sidney Sugars Inc. on the Montana-North Dakota border. Mike Steffan and his son, Jeff, raise beets just to the north of the factory in Sidney. Their Steffan Farms started opening fields on Sept. 17. The family has been raising beets for Holly Sugar at Sidney since 1926, when his grandfather came over from Germany.
ASHBY, Minn. — Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator is closed for business but is talking with three other cooperatives in the region to buy or lease it, hoping to get one of the community's vital businesses up and running.
ASHBY, Minn. — The investigation is only starting into how much Jerome "Jerry" Hennessey could have stolen from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator that he managed for many years and Hennessey himself is "nowhere to be found" the Grant County sheriff says. Much of the missing money — believed to be more than $2 million — appears to have gone to safari guides and taxidermy.
FARGO — A Fargo group has applied to the Small Business Administration for a contract grant to develop and create "the first 100 percent autonomous farm." The so-called "Grand Farm Initiative" is proposed to be completed by 2025, or in seven years, with the SBA funding.
FARGO, N.D. — It's complicated. It's painful. That's the trade situation for a family that makes agricultural equipment for the U.S. and the world. Howard Dahl is the chief executive officer of Amity Technology in Fargo. The company makes and markets sugar beet harvesting equipment they sell throughout North America and in many other countries, with a focus on former Soviet Union countries including Russia and Ukraine.