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North Dakota Ag Companies Win Award

Desert plants and new soil testing method are among state's top ideas.

Two ag businesses are among five winners in the first Innovate ND Program. Winners receive $5,000 and in-kind services to help them launch their business concept.

Desert Don's Greenhouse, Minot; N.D. Desert Don's Greenhouse proposes to add a new business line to their current greenhouse operations by marketing selected species of desert plants using eCommerce.

Western Ag Labs, LLC, Sherwood; N.D. Western Ag Labs is a crop nutrition planning service that proposes uses a new soil technology developed in Canada to predict nutrient needs for growers enabling them to grow crops more efficiently. Volk has farmed for 25 years using his business management skills in both the private and public arenas. Greer is the current president of Western Ag Labs, the company from which the technology will be licensed.

Other winners include:

LifePump Innovations, Fargo, N.D. LifePump Innovations builds a computer-controlled pump system that enables heart valves, stents and heart assist devices to be tested using realistic blood pressure and flows within a test chamber.

Ntractive, LLC, Grand Forks; N.D. Ntractive is software designed to automate, organize and improve business processes for small companies with five to 100 employees.

Tao Interactive, Bismarck; N.D., Tao Interactive is a software development company catering to small businesses. Their software allows clients to create websites that possess features found in expensive websites at a fraction of the cost.

"This has been an exciting program because it shows that entrepreneurs are alive and well and hard at work in North Dakota," says North Dakota Governor John Hoeven. "The future of our state rests in the hands of people like this who have a worthwhile business idea and the desire to build that business dream right here in our state."

Source: North Dakota governor's office.

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