ERS and NIFA to Relocate to Kansas City Area

USDA has selected the Kansas City Region to relocate the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. A Cost Benefit Analysis was conducted and conservative estimates show a savings of nearly $300 million nominally over a 15-year lease term on employment costs and rent, or about $20 million per year. The region is close to multiple land grant universities, providing access to a stable labor force. Out of NIFA’s 315 positions, 294 will relocate while 21 will stay in the NCR. Of the 329 ERS positions, 253 will relocate while 76 will stay in the Washington, D.C. area.
northarvest bean day

A Variety of Bean Classes Bought by USDA

USDA has purchased a variety of dry edible bean classes for distribution to the child nutrition and other related domestic food assistance programs for Fiscal Year 2019. The purchase total is over $1.9 million and included baby lima, blackeye, Great Northern, light red kidney and pinto beans. More details on the purchase can be viewed here.

Proposals Being Accepted for the Pulse Crop Health Initiative

The Pulse Crop Health Initiative is seeking submissions for research proposals for fiscal year 2019 funding. The goal of the Initiative is to use cooperative research on pulse crops, including dry beans, to provide solutions to the critical health and sustainability challenges facing the United States and the global community. The Initiative is guided by a steering committee that includes commodity groups, food industry, the health and nutrition community and USDA/ARS representatives.

Examples of dry bean focused research projects funded in the last year include enhancing nutritional traits and an analysis of human health traits. There is approximately $2.4 million available for funding, and the deadline for submission of new project proposals is June 17.

More information on submission guidelines, average annual budgets for previously funded projects or a template for submission is available by contacting Mike Grusak at .

Northarvest Scholarship Applications

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association will award two, $1,000 scholarships in 2019 to children or grandchildren of Northarvest members. Northarvest is comprised of dry bean growers from North Dakota and Minnesota.
In order to be eligible for the NBGA scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Applicant’s parent or grandparent must be a current grower-member of the NBGA
  • Applicant must be enrolled or plan to be enrolled in their first year of college or technical college in 2019
  • Applicant must have a 3.0 GPA or higher from high school
Request for application can be requested by mail or email:
Northarvest Bean Growers Association
50072 East Lake Seven Road
Frazee MN 56544
Application must be received no later than June 1, 2019. The NBGA Scholarship Committee will review applications in July and applicants will be notified by August 1, 2019.

USDA Bean Buy

USDA has purchased various classes of dry edible beans for distribution to child nutrition and other related domestic food assistance programs for fiscal year 2019. The purchase totaled over $1.47 million and included pinto beans, light red kidneys, Great Northerns, baby limas, and more. View the purchase here.

Myrdal Hired as Director of Domestic Marketing and Communications

Megan Myrdal joined the Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NBGA) as the director of domestic marketing and communications on January 15. In this role, Megan will lead Northarvest’s work to promote the use and consumption of dry edible beans.

“The Northarvest Bean Growers Association is very happy to welcome Megan Myrdal as the new director of domestic marketing and communications,” says NBGA Executive Vice President Tim Courneya. “Megan’s background in nutrition, agriculture and communications is a great fit for our organization and will be an asset to sharing the benefits of the bean.”

Prior to her hire with NBGA, Myrdal was the family nutrition program agent with NDSU Extension – Cass County and the project manager for the Cass Clay Food Partners. Megan is an active member of Fargo’s local food community as the co-founder of Food of the North and the Red River Market. She’s also a former adjunct instructor for Concordia College and NDSU.

“I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to work for and represent the bean growers of North Dakota and Minnesota,” says Myrdal. “As a registered dietitian, it’s hard to find a food that has a more positive message to share than beans. I look forward to being a bridge between the growers and consumers to help people understand the bean industry and find more ways to enjoy beans.”

2019 District Election Results

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NBCA) has announced district director election results. District directors elected include:

District 2: David Dickson of Gilby, ND raises pinto and black beans, wheat, soybeans and sugar beets. David is active on the NBGA as vice president. He also serves on the promotion, legislative, search, scholarship and communication committees.

District 5: Joe Mauch of Hankinson, ND raises navy beans, soybeans, corn and sugar beets. Joe is active as a director on NBGA, U.S. Dry Bean Council delegate for Northarvest, Richland County Corn Growers Utilization Committee and Northwestern Farm Management.

District 8: Cordell Huebsch of New York Mills, MN raises dark red kidney beans, corn, strawberries, raspberries and pumpkins. Cordell is active on the Central Minnesota Irrigation Corporation, Irrigators Association of Minnesota, Farm Bureau and Minnesota Agriculture & Rural Leadership.

Resources Available for Families Dealing with Farm Stress

The Minnesota House Agriculture and Food Committee addressed the issue of the farm economy and stress Thursday. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen testified in this hearing.

“I know farmers in all 87 counties of the state and my rings at 6:30 in the morning who are just having a hard time,” said Petersen. “We have a helpline, we have farmer-lender mediation, farm advocates; counseling is there and we want farmers to know we want to help them with the programs we have.”

Learn more

CHS Fertilizer Hub to be Built at Langdon

A new 24,000 ton fertilizer facility will be built at the Langdon, North Dakota CHS location. The facility will include two 16-ton blenders, five big bins and four micro-bins to house dry fertilizer. When finished, the hub will have a 1,200 ton her hour unloading capability.

Based at the Milton location, assistant general manager Travis Peterson says ground will be broke this spring as soon as weather permits. “The completion deadline is January of 2020,” says Peterson. “The need for fertilizer supplies keeps growing, so it will serve the area farmers well.”

44th Annual Bean Day Held

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association held their 44th Annual Bean Day January 18 in Fargo. Thank you to all attendees and sponsors of the event!

“Mother Nature threw everything she could at us during the 2018 harvest season,” says Northarvest President Tom Kennelly. “Now, it’s time to put last year to bed and focus on the New Year.” And that’s exactly what farmers did during the day’s events.

The agenda featured updates from North Dakota State University researchers on dry bean diseases and breeding, as well as market and trade updates.

Hear more from Kennelly in this report.