The Northern Crops Institute welcomed the National Wheat Quality Council’s 2019 Hard Spring Wheat and Durum Tour on Thursday, July 25th. Over 50 attendees took part in a debriefing session of their activities that had taken place on the tour throughout the week. The tour was designed for those who are working within food companies to see where their products key ingredients, such as wheat, come from. Participants were able to learn more about North Dakota agriculture practices, as well as the agriculture industry in its entirety.
Some attendees were familiar with wheat production, but received the opportunity to see it from a more in depth perspective. Erik Johnson, a junior at NDSU studying Agriculture Education and an intern with ND Wheat Commission said, “Looking in the crop in the field, that’s something I hadn’t really done before because I was raised in town. I’d drive by them on the highway, but I had never pulled in and stopped in someone’s wheat field before.”
Those who work within the wheat industry every day found it rewarding to see others learn more about it. Dan Wogsland, Executive Director of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association said, “It’s such an eye opening experience, you are seeing North Dakota-virtually the whole entire state- and you are seeing how vast and diverse our agriculture is and you’re seeing the best of what we have.” He continued by saying, “They’ll have a better perspective for what the wheat crop is like, which is their primary objective here. But more importantly, they get a better perspective of what North Dakota agriculture is, means, looks like, and they can see the technology that is employed, they can see how professional farmers are, and what they do to grow these crops, and I think its an eye opening experience for them.”
Dave Green of the National Wheat Quality Council, has assisted with managing this event for 40 years and has been able to see the tour grow and change throughout those years. When asked what he feels the biggest change has been with this tour, he responded, “We’ve seen things change in the state, the red river valley used to be a small grain field, and now it’s soybean, corn, sugarbeets, and other things. Sunflowers used to be prevalent in the valley, and now that’s moved out west, the durum has also changed. A lot of things agriculturally have changed over time.” Dave also spoke about how beneficial this course is for its participants, as well as the businesses and organizations that they represent. “They feel confident about what they saw. They are able to tell their company and their customers and the people that they deal with what the crops look like because they were there, and they have memories now.”
If your group is interested in using NCI’s auditorium for an event or for a meeting, please contact us at NCI@ndsu.edu or visit us at northern-crops.com