November, 2013

Wahpeton Daily News: Interim chancellor visits NDSCS

November 25, 2013

By: Matthew Liedke, Wahpeton Daily News

Wahpeton’s two-year college was just one of many stops on a whirlwind tour for Larry Skogen, the new interim chancellor of the North Dakota University System.

Skogen, who is traveling to various colleges and universities across the state, said he was having open dialogues with faculty, staff, students, community members and the media.

During his time at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton Friday, he addressed what the University System is currently working on and held a question and answer period.

“We want to build trust across the state,” Skogen said.

His visit at NDSCS came after a stop at the University of North Dakota, and he had more institutions to visit later. While at NDSCS, Skogen praised current operations.

“It’s a wonderful institution, (President) John Richman and his team here do a great job. It’s directly involved in the economics of the state, NDSCS is providing the employees that employers are looking for,” he said.

In his public address Friday afternoon at the Bremer Bank Theatre, Skogen said the main mission of the North Dakota University System is to help students reach their goals.

“What we do is prepare students to do what they want to do with their lives, whether they are traditional students our non-traditional students, whoever comes to our campuses,” Skogen said. “That’s the reason we are here.”

Click here to view the full article online.

NDSCS Names Gilbertson Project Manager

November 22, 2013

Clint Gilbertson has been named Project Manager of the North Dakota Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training Initiative (NDAMSTI) at North Dakota State College of Science. NDAMSTI was recently awarded a $2.7 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Gilbertson’s new role will include managing this grant for its duration, over the next four years.

Gilbertson is a tenured faculty member who has served as an Associate Professor for Welding Technology at NDSCS since 2007. He has received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology from NDSCS, a Bachelor of Science in Technology Education from Valley City State University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

“Clint’s expertise in manufacturing, instructional technology and leadership makes him an excellent choice for this appointment,” said Barbara Bang, Dean of Technologies and Services at NDSCS. “We look forward to the contributions Clint will make to this project.”

The NDAMSTI program focuses on opportunities to develop and enhance programs of study that incorporate work based training opportunities, and to develop the skills needed that are comprehensive and customized to the adult learner and employee. This training model enables North Dakota businesses to maintain a well-trained workforce and to stay viable and competitive.

NDSCS to Host John Deere Tech Program Day at Wahpeton Campus

November 13, 2013

North Dakota State College of Science will host a John Deere Tech Day on Monday, November 18 at the College’s Wahpeton campus. The special event day will inform prospective students about the program, which is a partnership with John Deere to offer a two-year program designed to prepare students for a career in the high-tech, fast-paced world of a John Deere Service Technician. 

Registration for the event is required and can be completed online or by phone at 800-342-4325, ext. 3-2173.

The John Deere Tech program combines classroom, hands-on lab work and John Deere dealership internships. John Deere Tech Day participants will discover what it takes to become a John Deere Service Technician, learn about local John Deere dealership internships, tour the newly renovated $10.5 million diesel building on campus and visit with program staff about admission information.

NDSCS-Fargo to hold Open House sessions for Evening Students

November 06, 2013

The North Dakota State College of Science will be holding Open House sessions at NDSCS-Fargo, located at 1305 19th Avenue North, for students interested in taking evening classes at the Fargo location. The open houses will be held on the following dates:
-Friday, November 15 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
-Tuesday, December 3 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

These free sessions are open to the public and will focus on career exploration, paying for college, academic options at NDSCS-Fargo, time to completion, total cost and the application process. Current NDSCS-Fargo faculty and Enrollment Services representatives will be present to answer questions. No pre-registration is required to attend the open houses.

Evening courses offered this spring at NDSCS-Fargo will include: the Business Pro Series, Information Technology Support, Liberal Arts and Paramedic Technology/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

For more information, please call 701-231-6919 to speak with a Fargo Programs Representative.

Dakota Farmer: Learn secrets of high-profit farms

November 05, 2013

By Keith Torgerson
Published in the October 2013 issue of Dakota Farmer

One day I was visiting at one of the farms I work with, and the operator mentioned that all of the high-profit farms in the North Dakota Farm Management Program were the larger farms, simply because they had a larger acreage base to work with.

In 2012, the high-profit farms averaged 3,204 acres, while the average-profit farms averaged 1,731 crop acres, or about 54% of the size of the high-profit group. The high-profit farms, as a group, also averaged $68 more profit per acre than the average farm.

I thought about it for a minute and told him that was not always the case for each larger-acreage farm. Here are some of the points or observations that I have made about high-profit farms since I began serving as a farm management instructor at the North Dakota State College of Science in 1978:

■ High-profit farms tend to have more consistent yields, and their yields are higher than those on the average farm. For example, if you look at the soybean yield from the 2012 Red River Valley averages, the average-profit farm on cash rented land had a yield of 39.63 bushels per acre, while the high-profit farms had a yield of 46.68 bushels. The reason for this yield difference is partly due to weather, but the high-profit farms tend to do a better job of focusing on all aspects of production, including drainage, technology and planting those crops whose genetics best fit the soil type for that area.

■ High-profit farms spend more time analyzing what type of crop insurance best fi ts their cropping program and their land type. They do not buy enterprise unit crop insurance because it’s cheaper, but because it does the best job of reducing risk.

■ High-profit farms work with other farmers to lower costs. This would include buying inputs together or sharing a piece of equipment, thus reducing overhead or fixed expenses. Total costs for 2012 on cash-rented soybeans from the Red River Valley averages for 2012 were $344.10 for the average farm and $331.97 for the highprofit farms. Net return per acre for the high-profit farm was $110.12 higher than for the average farm. If you had 1,000 acres of beans that would amount to an additional $110,012 of net farm income. Net return per acre for corn showed the same type of data with the high-profit farms having a net return that was $245.05 higher than the average farm. The same principles apply to the livestock industry. If we look at the 2012 North Dakota Farm Management State Average’s Report for the beef cow-calf enterprise, the high-profit herds are showing a net return of $175.55 more per cow than the average herds. This significant difference is generated by a number of items, including more production and fewer expenses per cow.

■ High-profit farms benchmark their performance. Benchmarking, or comparative analysis, helps them determine if their decisions on machinery and inputs are having the desired effect on their cost structure for the individual enterprises. These benchmarking numbers come from the annual average reports that are generated by the Farm Management Programs in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota.

■ High-profit farms look at their total costs per enterprise and analyze each cost. For example, my custom cost may be high, but my labor costs are low. These farms realize they are using more custom work in exchange for not hiring additional labor. If both costs were high, it shows that perhaps they should be doing more of the work themselves. If total costs are higher than the averages, high-profit farms spend considerable time figuring out how to make adjustments for the next cropping year. They also use the benchmarking to compare their financial ratios and make management decisions based on how they are sitting compared to their peers.

■ High-profit farms are exceptionally well informed and have a strong management team, and distinct business and personal goals. The management team is made up of agriculture professionals that are working with the farm, and usually includes
the crop insurance agent, banker, farm management instructor, veterinarian, crop consultant and any other person who is working closely with a specific area of the farm business.

■ High-profit farms do not always receive the highest price for their product, but they are using their marketing decisions to reduce risk. They also have a plan in place to reduce the risk of what the farm’s greatest risk might be. For example, farmers who are highly leveraged will have a plan in place to reduce their risk on interest rates should interest rates go higher. A large dairy farmer would need to have a plan in place if his or her hired labor did not show up for work. The high-profit farms tend to seek out answers to problems before they arise.

■ High-profit farms use the information from all of their records to help them determine where to spend their time and to get the best return on their investment of both time and money. They have a very positive attitude and adopt new technologies
quickly and appropriately. The above characteristics of profitable farms and farmer operators leads them to have a lower cost per unit of production. Farming is a business and the farm operator should use all the resources he or she can to make informed decisions and, hopefully, these decisions will lead to many profitable years.

See the full article online at

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