Former Governor George Sinner, First Chairperson of the Northern Crops Council

Former Governor George Sinner, First Chairperson of the Northern Crops Council

Northern Crops Institute's staff, Northern Crops Council and Northern Crops Institute Advisory Board would like to offer its condolences to former Governor George Sinner's family due to his recent passing. George Sinner was instrumental in creating the Northern Crops Institute and fully believed and promoted its mission, "to support regional agriculture and value added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern grown crops." During the 20th Anniversary of Northern Crops Institute (2003), George Sinner, who was also the first chairperson, wrote an article for the 20th anniversary celebration book.

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2017 North Dakota Soybean Quality Survey

Please click here to view the 2017 North Dakota Soybean Quality Survey, prepared by Northern Crops Institute's Food Scientist Natsuki Barber. Funding provided by the North Dakota Soybean Council.

North Dakota Soybean Quality Surveys from previous growing seasons can be reviewed by clicking on the year below:


 To view the survey, please click  here .

To view the survey, please click here.

2017 Grain Procurement Management for Importers Course

We welcomed the Grain Procurement Management for Importers Course participants during the weeks of September 11 - 20. There were 26 participants from 14 different countries - Algeria, China, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and Tunisia. The eight-day course focused on the mechanics of grain merchandising and was designed to educate individuals who are responsible for purchasing grain.

2017 South Asian Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop

On August 2-4, 2017, NCI welcomed participants attending the South Asia Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop sponsored by U.S. Wheat. There were seven participants from Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Singapore. We also welcomed five U.S. Wheat staff members. The participants and staff attendeded classes at NCI and then they traveled to Portland, Oregon for tours at the Wheat Marketing Center and also the Columbia Grain Export Terminal.

Applications of U.S. Pulse Ingredients Course

The Applications of U.S. Pulse Ingredients Course was held July 17-20, 2017. The course was sponsored by the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council and the participants had the opportunity for quite a number of hands-on labs and demonstrations including gluten free pasta processing, pulse snack extrusion and a pulse baking demonstration. Scroll below to view the photo gallery from the course.

The New NCI-INTSOY Course Successfully Promotes Northern Grown Soybeans to International Participants

During the week of June 5-10, 2017, Northern Crops Institute (NCI) hosted international participants sponsored in part by USSEC, WISHH, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, North Dakota Soybean Council and the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

 Twenty-four participants from 10 different countries participated in the successful 2017 NCI-INTSOY course during June 5-10.

Twenty-four participants from 10 different countries participated in the successful 2017 NCI-INTSOY course during June 5-10.

The participants heard various speakers, watched demonstrations and had the opportunity for hands-on labs in various locations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. There were a number of tours throughout the tri-state area and there was a visit to soybean producer Kyle Raguse’s farm near Wheaton, Minnesota. NCI staff accompanied the lectures, demonstrations and tours to answer questions from both participants and media.  

The NCI-INTSOY course educated participants on practical processing methods and innovative applications of soybean ingredients in meat, beverage, baking, snacks, traditional soy foods and animal feed products.

 Samuel Adu Ntim, CEO of Yedent Agro Group of Companies Limited (Ghana) was one of 24 participants at the 2017 NCI-INTSOY course.

Samuel Adu Ntim, CEO of Yedent Agro Group of Companies Limited (Ghana) was one of 24 participants at the 2017 NCI-INTSOY course.

According to WISHH, participants praised the NCI-INTSOY course because of the great effort and collaboration to increase knowledge of U.S. Soy and by making crucial introductions to U.S. soybean producers and companies. 2017 NCI-INTSOY participant Samuel Adu Ntim, chief executive officer of Yedent Agro Group of Companies Limited in Ghana, was extremely happy with his experience, “It (NCI-INTSOY) is a phenomenal program that I think a lot of companies and entrepreneurs and a lot of people in emerging markets should try to access. It is an excellent partnership, and we give thanks to WISHH (and other sponsors) for this opportunity,” Adu Ntim said.

NCI Director Mark Weber celebrated the success of the course by thanking speakers, sponsors and staff for, “delivering a top notch soy program that is sure to be the next flagship course for the NCI.” Weber also declared that, “the NCI-INTSOY course truly illustrates why NCI exists and that is to continue to provide quality educational and technical programming to expand international markets for our northern-grown crops.”

Due to the positive feedback from participants, sponsors and staff, the NCI has begun the process of assembling the NCI-INTSOY course programming for 2018. The scheduled date for the 2018 NCI-INTSOY will be Monday, August 27 through Friday, September 1. 



NCI Update - 2016 July/August Issue

NCI Update - 2016 July/August Issue

To continue our communications efforts in supporting the promotion and market development of crops grown in the four-state region (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota), we have developed a bi-monthly newsletter that will be sent exclusively by email. In this issue there is information about the INT-SOY course that will be held at NCI in June 2017, an update on the new soymilk and tofu machine, an article about our milling technical services and also a reminder to register for the Utilization of Pulses in Extruded Snack Course. To view the latest issue and to sign up for the next issue go to

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NCI's Director Mark Weber Interviewed on FarmTalk Ag News 890

Northern Crops Institute's Director Mark Weber was on FarmTalk with Mick Kjar, Ag News 890. The interview was recorded on February 2, 2016, at the Northern Soybean Expo that was held at the Fargo Holiday Inn and was hosted by the North Dakota Soybean Council and the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. Click here to listen.

Northern Crops Institute expects visitors from Asian markets in 2016

Director Mark Weber was interviewed by Mark Dorenkamp from Brownfield News during the 2016 Minnesota Ag Expo.

The director of the Northern Crops Institute says trade teams from southeast Asia and possibly China are expected to visit later this year and learn how to put U.S. northern crops into practice.

“We will have the opportunity to promote the higher feeding values of the soybeans grown in this region.  Through the excellent work of the University of Minnesota they have discovered that our soybeans in this region have greater feeding value than other parts of the world.  This is something that we will help promote.”

Mark Weber tells Brownfield the Institute was founded in 1983 with a mission to promote the primary crops grown in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

He says the Institute works closely with commodity groups from the region, such as corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, sunflowers, peas and lentils.

“What we do is we host trade teams.  We bring in users of the crops from around the world.  To date we’ve had visitors from 140 countries that have come to train and learn at the Northern Crops Institute, and we have a group of food and feed scientists that teach them how to utilize the crops that we grow in this region in their food and feed products.”

The Northern Crops Institute is on the campus of North Dakota State University, funded by state appropriations and various Checkoffs.

To listen to the interview in its entirety go to:

North Dakota Wheat Commission pledges $350,000 to NDSU's Center for Risk and Trade

The North Dakota Wheat Commission has pledged $350,000 to the Center for Risk and Trade endowment at North Dakota State University.

The North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund provided a 50 percent match of $175,000 to the endowment campaign. Funding for programming,student scholarships, faculty development and opportunities for industry to use the center for continuing education are provided through the endowment.

“We are very fortunate to receive excellent support for many of our research programs from the North Dakota Wheat Commission," said Ken Grafton, dean of NDSU’s College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. "Trade issues are critical to our region’s farmers. The lab allows faculty and students to study issues related to risk and trade and to enhance our research in these areas."

The center’s Commodity Trading Room is the nation’s only university laboratory dedicated to agriculture and biofuels. Equipped with advanced information sources, trading software, analytical tools and 32 workstations, the center is a premier teaching facility for commodity marketing, logistics, trading and risk management.

William Wilson, distinguished professor of agribusiness and applied economics, said NDSU has offered well-received courses in commodity procurement
since 1983.

"There is substantial risk in wheat production and marketing that affects growers, handlers, domestic end-users and wheat importers,” he said. “Our lab enhances training and equips industry participants to become better buyers and customers. Our work with the industry results in better programs for our students. Through the lab, the students gain real-life experience using state-of-the-art technology.”

“The North Dakota Wheat Commission is proud to provide continued support for the Center for Risk and Trade,” said North Dakota Wheat Commission Administrator Neal Fisher. “The center helps wheat producers hone their marketing skills in a global market that is increasingly volatile. In partnership with the center and NDSU’s Northern Crops Institute, we also provide risk management education to international wheat buyers from more than 100 countries.”

Since its inception in 1959, the North Dakota Wheat Commission has supported research and market promotion programs at NDSU. The pledge boosts the commission’s total giving to NDSU to more than $1 million. The organization was recently inducted into the 1862 Society, which is the highest level of recognition from the NDSU Development Foundation. The society is named for the year Congress enacted legislation to establish land-grant universities.

In addition, the commission also provides annual investments for wheat research of up to $1.5 million each year.

Published in Prairie Business on November 5, 2015.