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APUC Newsletter Oct 2016

3rd Quarter Commission Meeting — July 18, Medora
$407,634 — 6 projects funded

2015-17 Biennium Funds Committed
$1,964,337 — 33 Projects

Midwest AgEnergy Group: Reliability Centered Maintenance Training

Midwest AgEnergy Group is striving to enhance equipment awareness and maintenance skills of operators to minimized plant downtime and unpredicted equipment failures. In August, they successfully completed a technical assistance grant, using $4,669 of the grant award. 


Impact Dakota was contracted to design the course specific to Midwest AgEnergy's needs, with training provided by consultant, Robert Matthews, Reliability Manager for Royal Purple. Operations and maintenance workers received in-depth hands-on training focused on Root Cause Analysis and Kaizen to ensure continuous improvement. Presentations targeted increased mechanical knowledge; preventative and predictive maintenance; troubleshooting skills; and increased inter-departmental communication.

DSC_0593.JPGPotential Pregnancy Test in Dairy Cattle

Dr. Kimberly Vonnahme, Associate Professor with NDSU Department of Animal Sciences, completed a $47,924 grant to hire graduate students to research and monitor hematocrit levels of dairy heifers and cows during the estrous cycle and pregnancy for the development of an on-farm test to be designed and commercialized. The ND Dairy Coalition also contributed $3,716 for purposes of obtaining blood samples for testing prior to breeding.

NDSUAnimalScience.jpgVonnahme's research team collected data suggesting whether or not pregnancy would occur on the day of breeding. In addition, further research continues to be conducted to detect which animals would successfully become pregnant and maintain pregnancy. The team is also trying a new technology that may determine pregnancy without taking a blood sample.  

Results were successful in identifying a biomarker for a predictor of pregnancy; encouraging the team to file a provisional patent. Vonnahme's team is hopeful continued research and incorporation of other technologies will ultimately conclude with the development of a patented on-farm pregnancy test to be used for a variety of animals. 

ND Rankings

#1 Competitiveness in Infrastructure (Sub-Index) - Beacon Hill Institute Competitiveness Report

#5 Top 20 States for Wind Power as Percentage of Total State Generation - American Wind Energy Association

# 7 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs (Fargo, ND) - Livability

fluffyfieldsbuilding.jpgWinery Feasibility Study & Marketing Plan

Kevin and Deb Kinzel, Owners of Fluffy Fields Vineyard & Winery in Dickinson, successfully completed a $60,952 marketing and utilization grant in September. 

Funds supported their efforts to seek new markets by expanding crop production and implementing a full-service winery to promote locally bottled wine and agri-tourism events. Funds were also used to develop a marketing plan, feasibility study and concept development.


"The support of this grant was so important for our project. We have a beautiful vineyard and our winery is awesome! This grant...helped us think through what we realistically can do and helped us develop a great look and brand for marketing."


Prairie Roots Food Co-op: Marketing ProjectCapture.PNG

Prairie Roots Food Co-op is making progress on their marketing and utilization grant awarded in June 2015. The Food Co-op has hired, Kurt Kopperud, General Manager, for the store opening spring of 2017 in Fargo.

profile.PNGThe General Manager will provide guidance for installation of the store's infrastructure, hiring and training, and management of day to day operations.

The Co-op's membership has grown to about 1,250, continuing to strive for a goal of 1,500 before opening next spring. Become a member today!


Ostlie's Sunnyside Acres: Farm & Product Diversification

Mike and Lindsay Ostlie, Owners of Ostlie's Sunnyside Acres1798404_590833431006255_1846849200_n.jpg in Carrington, successfully completed their $26,250 farm diversification grant in September. The Ostlie's goals were to diversify farm production, add an on-farm processing facility, create agri-tourism opportunities, and contribute to the development of the hops industry in North Dakota.

Their improvements included trellis construction, installation of irrigation and plastic ground coverings, and the addition of new plant varieties such as honeyberries and hops. A small crop of hops was harvested and sold to Fargo Brewing Company to make the "Super Green" beer.  1660287_590831661006432_812543053_n.jpg

"We hope our farm will provide benefits for other growers and families and spread a positive message about agriculture and North Dakota."   

A granary on the farm is under renovation to be converted into the processing facility where new pelleting machinery will be housed. The completed processing facility will house a food processing area, public restroom, walk-in cooler room, deck for social events, and retail space for products grown on the farm. The Ostlies also purchased materials for a hops dryer to be installed in the barn.

Marketing & Educational Opportunities

The Ostlies have incorporated the Hops Field Days and Hops Harvestour events on their farm. The  events offer mechanical harvesting demonstrations, discussed harvest timing and moisture testing, along with a wealth of other information provided by a brewer panel. A SARE Tour also came to the farm to view Ostlie's operations and expansion. U-pick berry events have also been well attended by locals.The Ostlies have had a number of brewers express interest in purchasing their hops. They've estimated two-years are needed for the hops to mature to productive plants.

savethedate.png4th Quarter Commission Meeting — Nov 17, Bottineau

2017 Commission Meetings

Feb 21-22 — Bismarck
May 17-18 — Grand Forks
Jul 26-27 — Medora
Nov 15-16 — Stanley

Fiscal Agent Certification Training

Fiscal agents serve as an integral part of the grant program as they work closely with APUC staff and grantees to administer grant funds. 

The purpose of the training is to encompass the key components of what is required of a fiscal agent for the duration of a grant project. New program guidelines and application process will also be discussed.

When:  December 16, 2016
Where:  ND Dept. of Commerce

Register to Attend

JohnSchneiderSuitTieHat.jpg Tosha2802Use.jpg A Program of the ND Department of Commerce

Ag Products Utilization Commission
1600 E. Century Ave., Suite 2
PO Box 2057
Bismarck, ND 58502

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John F Schneider
(701) 328-5350
LaTosha Pierce
(701) 328-5318

North Dakota Department of Commerce
1600 E. Century Ave., Suite 2
Bismarck, ND 58503 | 701.328.5300
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