Farmers, ranchers and people working in ag related businesses are honored annually by North Dakota State University in a celebration of the diversity of agriculture in North Dakota.
Cole and Teri Ehlers raise wheat, canola, corn, sunflowers, peas and alfalfa near Hettinger, using no-till and crop rotation farming practices. They also have a cow-calf operation with backgrounding and custom feeding. They have been farming for 23 years. In addition, Cole operates Ehlers Trucking, a livestock trucking business, and is a member of the township board. Teri is a radiology technician. They have three children.
Greg and Darlene Shanenko raise wheat, soybeans and corn near Valley City, using minimum-tillage farming practices. They have been farming for 45 years and received the Minimum Tillage Award from the Barnes County Soil Conservation District. Greg also has been a township supervisor for 30-plus years. In addition, he was a member of several organizations, including the Barnes County Ag Improvement Association and North Dakota Winter Show Board. Darlene previously worked as a dental assistant and was a volunteer at the North Dakota Winter show. They have four children.
Clarence and Bonnie Nelsen live in Leeds. Since 1990, Clarence has been manager of Farmers Union Oil in York, where he provides advice for producers on fertilizer and agricultural chemical usage. He also has been very supportive of NDSU Extension by hosting an annual agronomy meeting for area producers each spring. In addition, he provides transportation for Extension staff and producers in the spring for tours of area fields that address crop stand and weed control issues. Clarence previously owned a mechanic shop in Leeds and continues to repair farm equipment for area producers. The Nelsens also are 4-H program supporters. They have two children.
Shane and Amanda Talkington have a registered Angus herd, commercial cow-calf herd and feedlot on a fourth-generation ranch near Belfield. They use artificial insemination and twice-over grazing management practices, as well as genomic testing. They have been ranching for 16 years and received the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce’s Ag Family of the Year Award. Shane, a 1999 NDSU graduate, also is a member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. Amanda also is a 4-H leader and member of the Stark-Billings County 4-H Council. They have three children.
Ronald and Kathy Wyman raise small-grain crops, sunflowers, corn and soybeans near Bottineau. Ron, an early adapter of technology, was the first to use an air seeder and one-pass seeding on his farm. The Wymans have farmed for 56 years and have received the Antler Outlaws’ Pioneer Award. Ron also has worked as an implement dealer and salesman. Kathy is an administrative assistant with the North Dakota Forest Service. They have three children.
Carl Soriede runs a commercial cow-calf operation with Hereford and Angus cattle near Bowman. He also occasionally runs stocker calves and raises forage for livestock. Carl, who has farmed for 44 years, uses non-till and crop rotation farming methods and intensive and rotational management of his grazing resources. He also promotes soil health through the use of diversified forages and grass systems. He has been a brand inspector for 27 years and received the Honorary Local Brand Inspector Award in 2016. He also has been a 4-H volunteer for more than 10 years and received the Bowman County 4-H Alumni Award in 2015. In addition, he is involved with the Best Friends Mentoring Program and is a member of the Larry and Jean Buchholz Scholarship Committee and an FFA alumnus. He and his late wife, Nancy, had three children.
Kenneth and Nicolle Maruskie have a cow-calf operation and sell Red Angus cross cattle near Battleview. They also raise alfalfa for grass, barley for hay and oats for forage. The Maruskies have ranched for 27 years and have received the Soil Conservationist of the Year Award. Kenneth, a 1990 NDSU graduate, also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 27 years. Nicolle teaches at Powers Lake High School, where she also is the Title I and technology coordinator. Kenneth and Nicolle have been 4-H leaders. They have three children.
Wade and Lynn Moser have operated a commercial cow-calf herd and a heifer development program using cell grazing practices. Wade, a lifetime rancher, also served as the executive vice president of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association for 26 years. He received the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Agriculturist of the Year Award in 2014. Wade is the past chair of the Outdoor Heritage Fund and serves on the board today. Lynn is president of Inland Oil and Gas, a three-generation family business; a member on the US Bank Board in Bismarck and a 35-year 4-H leader serving 6 years on the ND 4-H Foundation board. Both are proud graduates of NDSU as well as their two daughters.
Brian and Lisa Roach have a diversified crop and livestock operation near Wheatland, where they grow small-grain crops, corn, seed soybeans and sunflowers, including identity-preserved (food grade) crops, using reduced-tillage farming practices. They have been farming for 38 years. They have received a Fargo Rotary award and were named the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association yield winner in 1997. Brian, a 1980 NDSU graduate, is a member of several organizations, including the Cass County Ag Improvement; North Dakota Corn Growers; North Dakota Soybean Growers and North Dakota Simmental associations; and the Wheatland Township Board. Lisa serves on the Rural Cass County Food Pantry Board and is a former 4-H leader. They have one daughter
Jerry and Kristie Rollness raise spring wheat, canola, soybeans, pinto beans, corn and peas near Langdon, using conventional-tillage and some no-till farming practices. They have been farming for 42 years on a family farm with three generations of the family still actively farming. They have received young farmer and soil conservation awards. Jerry also is chairman of the Cavalier County Farm Service Agency Committee, a township supervisor, secretary of the Walhalla Farmers Grain Elevator Board and president of his church’s board. Kristie, a retired teacher, is president of the Women’s Church Group. They have three children.