Last Call: 2021 Northarvest Scholarship Applications

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NBGA) is offering a scholarship to the children and grandchildren of a Northarvest producer member.  NBGA is comprised of dry bean growers from North Dakota and Minnesota.

The association is excited to offer two- $1,000 scholarship opportunities individuals who meet the following requirements:

  • A parent or grandparent must be a current participating grower-member of NBGA.
  • The applicant must be planning to enroll or be enrolled in their first year of college or technical college.
  • The applicant must have at least a 3.0 grade point average from high school.

If the above criteria can be met, the applicant must complete an application when applying for the scholarship.  Applications must be received no later than June 1, 2021.

Please request application by mail or email:

Northarvest Bean Growers Association

4844 Rocking Horse Circle S. Suite 2

Fargo, ND  58104


Now Hiring: Office and Finance Director

Are you interested in working with dry bean farmers who are committed to sustainability and the future of agriculture in North Dakota and Minnesota? The Northarvest Bean Growers Association is looking for an office and finance director.

The office and finance director will manage the office database, provide support of all office activities, trade activities, etc. and coordinate arrangements for the three dry bean organizations functions. This position will also serve as the primary informational source for the Board of Directors, Council Members and operations of the office and staff. This position helps maintain the business calendar, assists with travel or activity arrangements, helps prepare for meetings and serves in other administrative capacities as needed.

Check out the job description.

Sabolik Joins the Northarvest team as Marketing & Communications Director

Danna Sabolik joined the Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NHBGA) as the marketing and communications director on April 1, 2021.  In this role, Danna will lead Northarvest communications and promotions strategy for the dry bean farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota.

The association is very happy to welcome Sabolik.  “Northarvest has an exceptional story to share about how this organization has developed for our farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota,” says Executive Vice President Tim Courneya. “Danna provides a voice for the farmers to humanize their efforts on behalf of consumers looking for nutritious food options, like dry beans provide for the world.”

Prior to her hire with NHBGA, Sabolik was a reporter for Dairy Star, Star Publications and an editor with Future Farmer, Spotlight Media. “Northarvest provides an opportunity to work on behalf of farm families that grow a healthy safe product from field to plate,” states Sabolik.  “As an agricultural journalist, I am looking forward to giving farmers the voice that so many times gets lost when it may be the most important voice providing the world its nutritious food.”

Sabolik holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

Northarvest Board Elects New Officers

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association elected new officers to the board of directors, along with  U.S. Dry Bean Council directors.
Eric Samuelson of Crookston, Minnesota is the new Northarvest president. Previously, Samuelson served as treasurer and also serves on the legislative, crop insurance and scholarship committees. He was first elected to the board in 2015.
Elected as vice president is Eric Jorgenson from Leeds, North Dakota. He also serves on the legislative, research, promotion, communication, scholarship and policy and nominating committees. Jorgenson was first elected to the board in 2014.
Joe Mauch of Hankinson, North Dakota was elected as Northarvest treasurer. Mauch also serves on the legislative, research, crop insurance, food aid and policy and nominating committees. He was first elected to the board in 2007.
Serving as the United States Dry Bean Council (USDBC) delegate for Northarvest is Kevin Regan of Webster, North Dakota. He was elected to his second term as treasurer of the USDBC board in 2020. With this assignment, Regan will represent the two-state region of Northarvest.
Serving as the USDBC alternate delegate for Northarvest is Roger Carignan of Cavalier, North Dakota. Carignan is currently the vice chair of the North Dakota Dry Bean Council and will also represent Northarvest for USDBC activity.

2020 Dry Bean Grower Survey Highlights

The 2020 Dry Bean Grower Survey of Production, Pest Problems and Pesticide Use provides important data on dry bean production, pest problems and pesticide use in Minnesota and North Dakota. Research and Extension faculty at North Dakota State University, along with directors of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association (NHBGA), develop the survey form.

Survey respondents provided information on over 146,000 dry bean acres in 2020, which represents nearly 14% of the 1.1 million acres planted in the Northarvest area.

In 2020, the two most popular varieties by class were:

  • Pinto: 1. Monterrey 2. Vibrant (slow-darkening)
  • Black: 1. Eclipse 2. Black Tails
  • Kidney: 1. Montcalm 2. Dynasty
  • Navy: 1. HMS Medalist 2. T-9905
  • Pink: 1. Floyd 2. Rosetta
  • Small Red: 1. Ruby 2. Merlot
  • Cranberry: 1. Etna 2. N/A
  • Great Northern: 1. Pegasus 2. Draco

More than 80% of growers used a soil test prior to fertilizer application, and 29.8% used site-specific nutrient management. Rhizobium inoculant use likely reflects the frequency of dry beans within a crop rotation system. In 2020, 23.5% of growers used inoculant.

Frost was the most commonly reported production problem and affected 22% of the surveyed Northarvest acreage. Growers reported an average yield loss of 14.7% due to frost damage. Water damage and diseases were the next most commonly reported production problems.

For pests, 41% of reported acres had no insect problems. For dry bean acres that experienced insect problems, grasshoppers (44%) were the most frequently reported followed by leafhoppers (29.3%) and cutworms (10.6%).

White mold was the most commonly reported disease, affecting 49.7% of dry bean acres, while common bacterial blight was reported on 19.6% of dry bean acres and root rot on 5.1% of dry bean acres. No disease problems were reported on 13.6% of dry bean acres. At least one foliar fungicide application was applied to 89% of dry bean acres.

Kochia was the most commonly occurring weed and was reported on 22.8% of dry bean acres. Ragweed (19%), lambsquarters (17.3%) and waterhemp (10.1%) were the next most common weeds. While herbicide use is the most important weed control tactic, several growers incorporate non-herbicide weed control strategies. Cultivation was used by 20.9% of growers, cover crops by 7.7%, manual labor by 7.7%, and rotary hoe by 4.7%.

A grant from NHBGA funded the survey, including a grand prize drawing for participants who responded to the survey. This year, Wade Hanson of Crookston, Minnesota won the $500 drawing.

Dry Bean Scene

The Quality Loss Adjustment Program deadline has been extended to April 9. Farm Service Agency Administrator Steve Peterson says the agency is working through documentation clarifications. Learn more in the Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Beans for Life Campaign Launched

Molly Yeh, host of Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm” and wife of a dry bean farmer, has announced a new partnership with Northarvest Bean Growers Association, launching their national “Beans for Life” campaign. Over one half of the United States’ dry bean production coming from North Dakota and Minnesota, where Molly Yeh and her husband raise navy beans.

“As an avid bean lover, and wife to a bean-growing Minnesota farmer, I am energized around the idea of giving one of my favorite foods their big ‘moment,’” said Yeh. “Our hope is that we can help educate and inform others on the health and wellness benefits of eating dry beans through simple, easy recipes — that also happen to be delicious.”

Yeh added, “As a farming family, it’s important to me that I help educate consumers on where their food comes from, and the many benefits we can enjoy thanks to the hard work and dedication from farmers like my husband.” 

“With many families spending more time at home, juggling distance learning and adapting to the changes that the pandemic has brought us, we all need a little help these days menu planning,” continued Yeh. “Beans are a great food to integrate easily into your meals to ensure they’re healthy without having to break the bank. Plus, beans are fun and so full of flavor.”

The “Beans for Life” campaign was created by Northarvest Bean Growers Association, a farmer-led coalition representing North America’s largest supplier of dry beans, to raise awareness and create a positive narrative around the health and wellness benefits of consuming dry edible beans.

With the intention of helping to educate and engage consumers, the “Beans for Life” campaign will provide consumers with easy ways to incorporate dry beans into their favorite recipes, tips for preparing and maximizing the flavor profiles of beans and the many health benefits that beans offer when properly integrated into your diet.

Research continues to show that regular bean consumption provides a variety of health and overall wellness benefits. Numerous studies indicate that frequently eating beans as a part of a healthful diet may reduce risk as well as aid in management of many chronic diseases. 

Incorporating ½ cup of dry beans, such as pinto, cannellini, kidney or black beans, into your daily diet can: 

  • Increase your life expectancy
  • Fight cancer
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Combat obesity
  • Prevent and manage diabetes

Additionally, dry beans are full of antioxidants, are good sources of protein and fiber, and are naturally fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free. Many types are also good sources of potassium. 

Thorsgard Retires

Grady Thorsgard, a longtime Northarvest Bean Growers Association and Dry Bean Council member, was recognized at his final board meeting by Northarvest President David Dickson. The plaque reads, “In recognition of your service as District II Council member, Ag Coalition representative for the North Dakota Dry Bean Council and representative on committees for the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, 2011-2020.” Thank you Grady for your years of service to the Northarvest dry bean industry!

Dry Bean Scene

NDSU Extension is a dry bean production webinar on Wednesday, April 15. Find out more from NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center agronomist Greg Endres in the Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network.

Northarvest Seeks an Executive Director

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association, located in Fargo, North Dakota, seeks to hire a proven leader as its Executive Director. This position is responsible for administering and overseeing all programs, projects and contracts; working with the board members; managing office staff; and assisting with the development and management of the budget, along with other duties as assigned. Northarvest represents dry bean growers (pinto, navy, black, dark red kidney, light red kidney, pink, cranberry, small red, white kidney and Great Northern) in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Candidates will possess a bachelor’s degree with previous leadership experience. Excellent human relation skills with knowledge of the agriculture industry are essential to this position. Experience in market development and research is preferred. Travel required both in and out of state and international. Northarvest offers a competitive compensation and benefits package and a stable work environment.