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.

2020 Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association will award two, $1,000 scholarships in 2020. Northarvest is comprised of dry bean growers from North Dakota and Minnesota. In order to be eligible for the Northarvest scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • A parent or grandparent must be a current participating grower-member of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
  • Applicant must be planning to enroll or be enrolled in their first year of college or technical college.
  • Applicant must have at least a 3.0 grade point average from high school.
A request for an application can be sent by mail or email to:
  • 50072 East Lake Seven Road, Frazee MN 56544
Applications must be received no later than June 1, 2020. The association looks forward to helping youth with their educational goals.

Northarvest Announces 2020 District Director Election Results

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association board of directors certified the mail ballot election results at the board meeting held prior to the 45th Annual Bean Day in Fargo. Northarvest district directors elected include:

District 3: Eric Jorgenson of Leeds, ND.  The farm raises barley, spring wheat, pinto bean, soybean and corn. Eric is active as a Director on the Northarvest Bean Growers Association and serves on the Research, Communication and Scholarship committees.  He also serves on the Farmers Union board, NDSU Extension and Board of Visitors member. Eric looks forward to working to establish markets and helping growers with better ways of producing and growing beans. 

District 6: Justin Retterath of Washburn, ND.  The farm raises dry beans, corn, soybean, spring wheat, alfalfa and black Angus cattle.  Justin is active as a Director on Northarvest Bean Growers Association and serves on the Legislative, Promotion and Policy & Nominating committees. He also serves on ND Stockmen’s Association and ND Cutting Horse Association. Justin enjoys being on the board and helping promote the dry bean industry in our country.

District 9: Thomas Arnold of Appleton, MN.  The farm raises black beans, soybeans, corn, wheat and sugarbeets.  Thomas is active on the Northarvest Bean Growers Association as Vice President and serves on the Research, Legislative, Crop Insurance and the Search committees. He also serves on the Southern MN Beet Sugar Cooperative and the Western Consolidate Cooperative. Thomas enjoys serving on the board and promoting the use of dry beans, research, monitoring crop insurance coverage and being heard politically for the good of the dry bean industry.

Dry Bean Scene

For dry bean growers, it is difficult to make plans for the upcoming growing season given the conditions. Northarvest Bean Growers Association Executive Vice President Tim Courneya says Bean Day is apart of that decision making process. Hear more in the latest edition of the Dry Bean Scene.

Dry Bean Scene

NDSU Extension has published research on plant population and row spacing for navy and black beans. Now researchers are working on furthering that information for pinto beans. Find out more in the Dry Bean Scene, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Dry Bean Scene

The 45th Annual Bean Day is Friday, January 17 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo, North Dakota. The trade show and registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program gets underway at 10:15 a.m. Get the full details the Dry Bean Scene, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association. View the full agenda here.

Bean Day is January 17

The 45th Annual Bean Day is Friday, January 17 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo, North Dakota. The Bean Day trade show and registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program gets underway at 10:15 a.m. Featured this year are presentations on breeding, disease management, trade, market supply and demand and more. A Pre-Bean Day Reception will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, January 16. There is no fee to attend and is an opportunity to socialize with exhibitors and fellow bean growers. View the full schedule.