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Excerpts from recent North Dakota editorials


BISMARCK, North Dakota — The Daily News, Wahpeton, Nov. 23, 2015

Be thankful for the important people in your lives

Thanksgiving is mere days away and for many of us, our mouths are already salivating as we anticipate the traditional feast.

Bring on the turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie and camaraderie of family and good friends partaking in this annual celebration.

As you sit around the Thanksgiving table this year, remember to appreciate your loved ones and give thanks for everything you have. The first Thanksgiving was about giving thanks for the bountiful harvest. That tradition carries through to modern times. Here is what the staff of the Daily News is most thankful for this year:

Publisher Ken Harty is thankful to be living in the tri-state area where the people make the difference.

Advertising Manager Tara Klostreich is thankful for her family and new opportunities.

Composition Manager Candace Engstrom is thankful for her health and the fact that we live in such a safe community.

Business Office Manager Patty Andeen is also thankful for her health, but most especially for her family. Shelby Moe, business office, was happy to give thanks for her family, friends and dog.

Circulation Manager Rose Olson is thankful for family and friends, having Jesus in her life, she is always thankful for salvation and for freedom. Merry Bruneau, circulation clerk, said she is grateful to her family and friends and for having good health.

Assistant Managing Editor Carrie McDermott is thankful for her family and the generosity of the Twin Town community. She also wanted to thank the servicemen and women and America's Armed Forces for protecting our freedoms..

Sports Editor Turner Blaufuss is thankful for family and friends and for being paid to do something he loves — write about and attend sporting events.

Reporter Frank Stanko is new to the Twin Towns but he is thankful for peace of mind.

Advertising representatives Aly Stone is grateful so many people support her with her health issues and is thankful for her wonderful husband, Aaron. Jolene Harty is thankful for all of the boys in her life, her son, cat, dog and boyfriends and for having a "roasty, toasty house." Diana Hermes is thankful for having God in her life, for her family and having a job she absolutely loves. Karrie Gregor sends her thankful wishes out to her family and friends.

Managing Editor Kathleen Leinen is thankful for our readers and advertisers, for her hardworking staff who make a day of work so enjoyable, for her family and friends and for a community who supports this paper, challenges us to be better journalists and who believe so strongly in what we do here every day.

From our staff to you, we wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. So carve those turkeys, eat those cranberries and remember to be thankful for all of the important people in your lives.

The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, Nov. 25, 2015

Livestock campaign makes sense

There was a time in North Dakota when you stopped at just about any farm or ranch you would find a variety of livestock. The rancher might focus on cattle but there were a few pigs on the side. There might have been a few milking cows or a small flock of sheep.

Those days are gone because it no longer made economic sense to keep all the critters around. For all the work to keep the animals the return on the dollar didn't add up.

In 2000, there were about 49,000 dairy cows. Now, there are about 16,000 dairy cattle, according to a story by reporter Jessica Holdman. Hog operations decreased from 18,500 pigs in 2000 to about 13,900. Beef, mostly in the form of cow-calf operations, has been more stable.

Now the North Dakota Department of Agriculture suggests farmers and ranchers consider getting back into the livestock business. They aren't necessarily suggesting tiny operations, but a bigger investment in livestock to offset declining crop prices. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring expects it will take about two years before crop prices begin a slow climb. Until then, he says livestock could help "stop the bleeding."

While he's surprised by the interest in small hog operations, he concedes the size of the livestock operations will vary due to individual situations. Some will need to go bigger than others.

Julie Ellingson, executive vice president of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association, says there's optimism in the livestock industry. While beef prices have slipped, they remain strong. Tamra Heins, executive director of the North Dakota Pork Council, says hog operations remain profitable.

The ag department has launched a $15,000 marketing campaign in an effort to return animal agriculture to a position of strength. The campaign wants producers to diversify their operations through animal agriculture and asks consumers and industry to support growers. The campaign involves website updates, social media, educational activities, videos and other forms of advertisement.

There's sort of a nostalgic attraction to the idea of a variety of animals on farms and ranches. The thought of being able to take the kids or grandkids to see calves or piglets warms the heart. However, it won't be like the old days. This is a business and in the end there needs to be a profit. If the program works and more farmers and ranchers can make a go of it, it will be worthwhile. It's worth the effort.

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