Friday, November 6, 2009

We might just be North Dakotans yet!

Disclaimer: Much of the information presented in the pictures is found from simple Google searches. What I am sharing is merely a glimpse of our new home intended for our family and friends only - not for historical use.

Since many of our family and friends have not been to North Dakota for any length of time, I thought I'd share a few highlights of Fargo, Cass County and ND (all places we call home)!

North Dakota, population 638,000
Cass County, population 137,000
Fargo/West Fargo, population 113,680

State Nickname: Peace Garden/Flickertail State
State Bird: Meadowlark (KS, right?)
State Tree: American Elm; Flower: Wild Praire Rose

Settled as Dakota Territory (with S. Dakota) : 1861 but admitted to the union in 1889
# Counties: 53
# Miles across state from East to West: 335 miles

ND is largely an agriculturally based state, relying on crops/livestock to maintain the livelihood of its residents.

Compared to the rest of the country, ND agriculture ranks as follows:
Wheat, all 1. Kansas 2. North Dakota 3. South Dakota
Barley 1. North Dakota 2. Idaho 3. Montana
Sunflower, all 1. North Dakota 2. South Dakota 3. Kansas
Canola 1. North Dakota 2. Minnesota 3. Montana
Dry Edible Beans 1. North Dakota 2. Michigan 3. Nebraska
Sugarbeets 1. Minnesota 2. North Dakota 3. Michigan
(From the ND Department of Agriculture)

As you can see, primarily cropping systems are the largest contributor to ND impact on US agriculture. However, ND does produce approximately +930,000 head of beef cows/calves and +181,000 hogs and pigs. No estimate was given for sheep, but there are a substantial number of sheep producers in the western portion of the state.

In Cass Co. particularly the livestock industry is a very small piece of ND animal agriculture. As of Jan. 1, 2009 there were approximately 5,000 hd. of beef cows; 1,800 hd. of sheep/lambs and 6,400 hd. of hogs and pigs.

  • Before the turn of the century there was a very well developed livestock market in West Fargo (the adjoining town to Fargo). The above picture is from 1938 looking over the stockyards. Hereford cattle are scattered in the background amidst the heavy snowfall and flat lands all around.
  • Below is a picture one of the most historic and core parts of Fargo, Broadway St. from the 1880's. If you visit, we'll most likely explore the shops and eating joints the historic Broadway has to offer.

Most of you are well aware of our fears of spring time flooding up here in the Red River Valley. Although the city/state and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are working to help reduce the risk of flooding in the future my building multi-million dollar dykes and diversion - it wasn't in place this past spring. I included a few photos of the flooding in and around Fargo.

Have no fear - we have been assured that unlike other areas that experience massive and wide-spread flooding, the people of ND and Cass Co. really rally around one another in these situations. NDSU students were released from school but many stayed to help the residents sand-bag for 2 weeks to divert water from damaging more homes.
The hardest search is finding pictures of Fargo in present day. This is an aerial view that overlooks Fargo. This is what we see on a daily basis, and we're enjoying it up here!

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