You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘north dakota’ tag.

Papa's Pumpkin Patch

Enjoying the colorful fun at Papa's Pumpkin Patch.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism Division just announced seven ways to harvest a “Legendary” adventure in North Dakota. We want to do them all. How about you?

For those hunting birds, fish, ghosts or the Great Pumpkin, you’ve come to the right place. North Dakota abounds with ghosts, ghouls, gourds and waterfowl in October. Do a little hunting early, then take the family to one of the state’s many haunted Halloween activities in the evening. And who knows, you may actually succeed where Linus fails every year in his quest to find the Great Pumpkin. Be sincere in your search and try these spine-tingling activities. Here are a few options to check out, or contact North Dakota Tourism for additional ideas at or call 800-435-5663 or 701-328-2525.

1. Harvest moon 

The chill in the fall air is nothing like that tickling your spine as you work your way through a haunted fort, a haunted cemetery and a haunted house. ’Tis the season for a full moon (October 11) and the ghostly haunts that follow as we head toward Halloween. Get your thrills and chills at Fort Abraham Lincoln’s Haunted Fort, Fort Buford’s Haunted Cemetery Walk and Grand Forks’ Legend of Terror Haunted House.

2. AMAZEing pumpkins

Two things are synonymous with Halloween, Ghosts and pumpkins. You may not find the Great Pumpkin, but you’re sure to have a great time looking for him at some of the pumpkin patches in North Dakota.  Begin your search at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Mandan, Berry’s Acres at Minot or Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze at Grand Forks. .

3. Bountiful arts

Take your sense of adventure around the state and discover hidden gems like the Prairie Fire Pottery in Beach or 62 Doors Gallery and Studio in Minot. If you prefer to stroll while admiring the local talent, try the Art and Wine Walk in Grand Forks, Artfest in Minot or the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists Studio Crawl. Many of North Dakota’s art galleries are close to home, so find one near you.
4. Oktober Fests

October is a month for celebrating, and North Dakota’s small towns and large cities know how to do it right. The season gets rolling with The Muddy River Mashers’ Oktoberfest in Bismarck. Fargo brews up a celebration with its own Oktoberfest, and Holy Cross Catholic Church in West Fargo gets into the spirit of the season with family activities and a Harley-Davidson giveaway.

5. Fall Fishing Frenzy

While hunters eagerly await their seasons to start, anglers have no such worries as their season never ends in North Dakota. For years, fishing in the state has picked up in October and every indication is  that the bite will continue. Plus, ramp access to the Missouri River continues to improve.

6. Harvest your favorite game

North Dakota is a waterfowler’s paradise. There’s nothing “daffy” about duck hunting here, as a large fall flight of ducks is expected to make its way through the state. The Central Flyway through the middle and eastern parts of the state routes vast flights of geese through the area on their trek south. Meanwhile, pheasant hunters from far and wide await that season opener on October 8th.

7. Harvest adventure

Take in the natural splendor of fall by going camping, biking or hiking. North Dakota’s state parks are open year-round, and autumn activities abound in all of the state’s 13 parks. Whether you choose to pedal, leg it or hoof it on a horse, you’re guaranteed to see nature at its best from the various trails intertwined across the state. And, the crisp nights are ideal for sleeping under the stars.

 These are just a few ideas to celebrate the harvest throughout North Dakota. For more information, go to or phone 800-435-5663 or 701-328-2525.

What-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up in North DakotaWhen you were a kid and were asked this question, did you want to be a professional baseball player, doctor, nurse, or maybe even a firefighter? Ask yourself why you wanted to be those things. Was it because your mom was a nurse? Or you looked up to a famous professional athlete? How much thought did you give to your decision? Probably not much when you were 10, but as you grew older and entered high school, your opinions changed based on life experiences. 

In today’s world that question is still being asked of our youth, but let us ask, “How are you helping your children find their calling in life?” With the average cost of higher education in the U.S. reaching $35,000 annually, it’s a good idea to start asking your children questions early.

Start asking questions today and begin to help your children fine tune their interests. If your child is interested in becoming a banker, arrange for a job shadow opportunity. (Seriously, this is as simple as calling a banker in your town and asking if they’d mentor your child for a few hours.)

 Job shadowing is a great way to expose a career to your children and for them to learn about the daily job duties. After the job shadowing experience, ask them what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they were surprised to learn. Sit down with them at the computer and research careers. If your student is enrolled in a North Dakota secondary school, they should receive a Career Outlook magazine published annually by the Department of Career & Technical Education. Browse through this resource and learn about the different programs being offered in North Dakota.

 If you don’t want to make those connections to set up job shadow opportunities quite yet, expose your children to more occupations online. The North Dakota Department of Commerce has a collection of short 5-minute videos highlighting high demand careers in North Dakota called Career Conversations. All of the Career Conversation videos showcase someone talking about their real job in North Dakota and what they do in the that career.  Parents and kids alike can watch the videos and match talents of their own or their children to what might be possible career paths for them in the future.

Exposing careers to children at a younger age gives them the knowledge to make informed decision when it comes time to choose a post-secondary education path. We all know they grow up to fast, and if we want to keep then in North Dakota, it’s time to start thinking about what jobs are in demand. The more they know about a career before going in to it, the less like likely they are to change majors and spend unnecessary dollars on their education. 

North Dakota’s outlook is much different than the rest of the union. With an estimated 15,000 job openings and plenty more to come once our youth are entering the workforce, North Dakota is in need of workers. It is our hope that once our young people find their right career path, they choose to stay in North Dakota, develop their career, continue our mission to be the best state in live in. Whatever they want to be when they grow up, we hope they want to be it in North Dakota.

north dakota youth forwardGuest Blog by North Dakota Youth Forward

Youth Forward is anything and everything that connects people ages 14-24 to a future in North Dakota. It’s easy to overlook opportunities in your own state when you don’t know they exist. Youth Forward works to promote jobs, entertainment, education, and more opportunities for youth looking to stay in North Dakota. Explore more career ideas for youth at:

North Dakota Tattoo on armHave you ever noticed how people from Texas love, and I mean capital L-O-V-E being from Texas?

They have a built-in state pride that’s so large that even the rest of the world knows that “everything is bigger in Texas.” In fact, if you Google image search “Texas flag tattoos” you’ll return over 93,000 photos of people who have forever inked their body with the Texas flag or some other iconic Texan thing.

It’s admirable.

It’s a little scary.

But in the end, I want a little of that.

No, not some crazy Texas tattoo, but a state pride for all our citizens that runs deep. One that North Dakota citizens could wear like a badge of honor no matter where they live now.

North Dakota has reason to be proud:  We have a budget surplus and the lowest unemployment in the nation. We’re a leader in energy, agricultural, aerospace and more. We’re ranked in the top 10 in lots of stuff: #1 job market, #1 state competitiveness, #3 happiest people, #1 most social (media) state, #3 for gross domestic product growth, and #1 in awesomeness.

OK, I made up the awesomeness statistic. BUT, if there was a scale for that, I just know North Dakota would rank high there too.

Check out more North Dakota rankings in the 12 reasons to Live, Work and Play in North Dakota.

In the end, North Dakota is filled with a humble brood. Most our ancestors came from Scandinavian and Germans stock, where it just isn’t the cultural norm to brag about anything. We all live our lives, do our jobs, care about our neighbors and we don’t have much to say about it.

The citizens of North Dakota have much to brag about, but mostly they just like living and being from here. And, if asked, we’ll gently tell you we are from “North Dakota.” No extra context needed. No bragging necessary.

We may never reach the “Texas-level” of state pride, but I do hope we all strive to be Ambassadors for North Dakota. Staying positive about the state we live in and love helps others to see that what we don’t have is sometimes what makes us such a great place. And, remembering what we do have tends to keep us humble.

Amazingly, the North Dakota Ambassadors program, which is North Dakota’s volunteer feel good force, has grown to just over 7,600 members on our social networks. Ambassadors spread our positive state messages and we’re changing the nation’s view about what we are. Join us on Facebook or Twitter.

In the end, my dream would be that all our citizens and former citizens choose to be a North Dakota Ambassador. We all carry a different vision of what being an Ambassador for North Dakota is. The Ambassadors program is even looking for feedback on what you think an Ambassador is – Take the Ambassador Survey.

We may never reach a time when there are 93,000 Google hits depicting people with North Dakota’s flag inked on their body, but I hope we’ve got our North Dakota roots tattooed on our souls. It is a quieter kind of state pride than Texas has, but in the end, I’m left thinking maybe I don’t want everything to be bigger in North Dakota … maybe, I’m simply humbled by the fact that it’s better in North Dakota.

photo credit: Katie Moore Atkinson

The flooding in North Dakota is making national headlines as Minot’s Souris River (also known as the Mouse River) crested this weekend at 1561.7 feet, beating the 1881 record of 1558.0 feet. Minot, Bismarck-Mandan and many of their surrounding areas continue to be heavily impacted by the excess water that needs to leave the state.

The Ambassador spirit of the North Dakota people continues as neighbor is helping neighbor, and more importantly, complete strangers are lending a hand to help out their fellow human beings. No questions, no payments, but rather simple thank yous and doing what is right is prevailing in most instances.

There’s been a lot of Ambassador questions about what is really happening and how can they help. Earlier this month we posted our first series of photo links to help you better understand the situation with our post North Dakota Flooding Photo Links.  This is a follow-up to that post to provide you some more up-to-date information and imagery from North Dakota. If you have more resources, please feel free to add them I the comments section. As we learn of more we’ll also attempt to update.



  • Presidential Disaster Declaration – Individual assistance has been approved for Burleigh and Ward counties. Residents can apply for FEMA individual assistance online:
  • Disaster Recovery Center Locations: The Bismarck Disaster Recovery Center will open, June 27 from 1pm to 7pm and be open daily from 7am to 7pm starting tomorrow. Locations: Bismarck – Bank of North Dakota – 1200 Memorial Highway; Minot – Minot City Auditorium, 420 3rd. Ave. SW and Minot State University-MSU Student Center, 500 University Ave. W.
  • ND Flood Info – State flood related website offering information about steps to take before, during and after a flood as well as resources available to individuals and businesses:
  • Donate – Give to the North Dakota Flood Relief Fund through the North Dakota Community Foundation:
  • Donate – Give to the American Red Cross Mid-Dakota Chapter:
  • Donate – Money for Minot efforts in the Fargo Area:

North Dakota has been an interesting place to be the last couple of weeks, especially if you live in the Bismarck/Mandan or Minot areas. Flooding from the Missouri and other tributaries has resulted in a whole lot of sandbags, volunteer effort and a tidal wave of spirit that is truly North Dakotan.

We’ve had a few requests for photos and other information about the flooding, so we thought we’d capture them here for our out of state Ambassadors who just want to connect with what’s happening at home.  As more photo’s become available we’ll attempt to update the links here.

National Guard Aerial photos of the Bismarck/Mandan area:

KFYR TV – Flood Watch Photos:!/media/set/?set=a.10150190511574103.302989.112109359102

KFYR TV – Sky Spy Photos:

ND Floods 2011 on Facebook Photos:!/NDFloods?sk=photos

KXMB TV – General Coverage and Live Webcasts of Press Conferences:

KUMV – TV – Update on the Williston Levy:

City of Bismarck-Mandan Flood Photos on Facebook:!/media/set/?set=a.205594929478482.43735.103403749697601

City of Minot – Flood Information:

Mandan Flood Images – courtesy of LPT Images on Facebook:!/media/set/?set=a.226322220728340.75195.114515201909043

United We Sand – Support the flood fighting efforts by purchasing a United We Sand t-shirt for $15:

ND Flood 2011 – Bismarck/Mandan area photo montage set to music (awww…):

Live Webcam Overlooking Raging Rivers sandbag site (Any one else see the irony in a sandbag site at Raging Rivers?):

June 4, 2011 – Bismarck Emergency Management Fly-Over Photos on Facebook:!/media/set/?set=a.10150190113061653.304144.77845116652

Sam Sprynczynatyk Video of Flooding:

Corp of Engineers Photos on Facebook:!/media/set/?set=a.228717490488836.75028.136693759691210

Aerial Photos and Lakewood Area by Ken Yetter:

Online submission now available through Flickr

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and the North Dakota Tourism Division, in partnership with AAA, are kicking off the Governor’s 2011 North Dakota Photo Contest. The contest will run from May 16 through August 31, following North Dakota Tourism Week events.

Any North Dakota amateur photographer is invited to submit entries to the Governor’s Photo Contest. One winner will be selected in each category and a $200 cash prize will be awarded to the photographer of each selected photo. Additional honorable mentions may be selected in each category, with photographers receiving North Dakota Legendary merchandise. A Best of Show photo will be selected from the winning photographs, and the photographer will receive an additional $300 cash prize and a free, one-year basic membership to AAA. In addition to the prize money:

  • Winning photographs will be published in North Dakota Tourism’s 2012 promotional materials and websites.
  • Winning photographs will be eligible for display in AAA North Dakota branch offices and may be printed in AAA regional publications.
  • Winners also will be published in North Dakota Tourism’s newsletter and likely in future promotional publications and marketing efforts.

“North Dakota has many talented amateur photographers, and this contest is a way for them to share their talents, while capturing North Dakota’s authentic and diverse offerings,” says Governor Dalrymple. “In addition, it gives the Tourism Division and AAA another source of photography that showcases our state’s beauty, people, places and attractions.”

For the second year, photos can be submitted online through Flickr, an image and video hosting site. Sara Otte Coleman, director of North Dakota Tourism, says the use of Flickr for last year’s contest increased the number of entries significantly. “Last year, more than 550 of the 825 photos entered for the contest were submitted via Flickr. This is a sizeable increase from the 700 physical entries we received in 2009, and we were very pleased with the turnout.”

Launched in 2004, the North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest encourages North Dakota amateur photographers to submit photos that capture the unique things to see and do in North Dakota. Winning photos are used in North Dakota Tourism’s marketing materials and newsletters.

 Contest rules:

The deadline to submit photos is August 31, 2011. Physical entries must be postmarked with this date.

 The number of winners will be determined by the number of entries and the quality of photos in each category.  Photo entries will be judged by a panel of North Dakota Tourism, Governor’s Office, and AAA staff familiar with photography and responsible for selecting images for various marketing materials.

 Photographs will be judged on their ability to showcase North Dakota as a Legendary destination in the following categories: Adventure; Attractions; Events; People; Scenery; and Wildlife.

 Entries will be judged on originality, interest of the subject matter, visual appearance and consistency with the category theme. Photo entries should be taken within the last three years and must be in full color.

 Only amateur North Dakota photographers/residents are eligible to enter. There is no limit to the number of entries allowed per photographer. Although cropping is permissible, digital alterations or enhancements are discouraged.

 Submission of the photo is the entrant’s guarantee, as the photographer and copyright holder of the photo, that they have the rights to distribute the image.

  • You must have the consent of those whose faces are visible in the image.
  • By entering the contest, photographers agree to authorize North Dakota Tourism, AAA and their official marketing partners to use that image in promotional materials offline and online.  Photos will be credited whenever possible.
  • Winning photographers agree to unlimited useage by North Dakota Tourism for promotional materials and websites.

 To enter the contest by mail, photographs must be submitted on a CD with a 5×7 or 8×10 print copy. Prints need not be mounted or framed. The back of the photo and CD must be labeled with the entrant’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, contest category, title of photo, location, and date the photo was taken.

Entries should be mailed to North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism Division, Attention Heather LeMoine, at P.O. Box 2057, Bismarck, ND 58502-2057. AAA branch offices in Fargo, Bismarck and Minot will also accept entries. Entrants cannot be guaranteed that submitted photos will be returned.

 Photo submissions via Flickr:

Availability to submit your photos online is available through Flicker. Join the Legendary North Dakota Travel group on Flickr if you are not already a group member. 

The Membership is free and the frequently-asked questions page at Flickr can answer questions regarding membership, uploading and sharing photos.

When you add your photo(s) to the Legendary North Dakota Travel group, tag it “ND2011Contest”. If you forget to tag your photo it will be not be entered in the contest.  North Dakota Tourism is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, incomplete entries or technical errors.

Upload the highest-resolution image possible.  8”x10” @ 300 dpi (or 1024×768 pixels).

Entered photos must be family-friendly.  Inappropriate photos will be removed from the group.

Information about the photo must include: title of the photo, location in state where the photo was taken; date photo was taken; the contest category, and name and town of photographer.


Entrants should include some contact information in their Flickr profile, or frequently check Flickr mail, in order to be contacted by North Dakota Tourism for name, address, telephone number and email address. Failure to respond to inquiries within three days may result in the disqualification of a winning photograph.
Complete contest rules can be found on the Tourism Division Web site at For more information, contact the Tourism Division at 701-328-2525 or 800-435-5663.

A video this morning released by NPR – National Public Radio has me thinking about the term “Life’s a Dance.” The video showcases a pendulum. Sounds boring right? But, magically it isn’t.

The pendulum, which was built by team at Harvard, features 15 individual balls suspended at different lengths, each one swinging at just a little different speed. So if one swings at 54, it’s neighbor that’s shorter is at 53, 52 … and so on.  Once set into motion in a straight light, the balls begin to change speed and create amazing patterns, squiggles, swirls, snakes and dance partners.

But here’s our favorite part. The secret choreographers of the dance are simply: Time and Motion. The Harvard design team has built the device so the pattern repeats every 60 seconds. Precisely. You check it out yourself by looking at the 27-second mark when the balls start moving and then at 1:27, exactly a minute later, all the balls are right back where they started. And then the dance repeats once again.

As we go about our day, we too are affected by the choreography of time and motion. It may not be that we look as graceful as our pendulum does, but I simply point out that we truly are living life’s dance. Some of us are simply lucky enough to be enjoying that dance in North Dakota.

Enjoy your “dance” today, and if you aren’t lucky enough to be soft-shoeing in North Dakota, check out to see great job opportunities in state throughout May.

Editors Note: The North Dakota Department of Commerce welcomes Alan Anderson as its new commissioner. Alan is a long time Ambassador for North Dakota!

al anderson

Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson

Gov. Jack Dalrymple recently named Alan Anderson of Mandan to head the North Dakota Department of Commerce effective May 2.

Anderson has three decades of business development experience, including the coordination of multi-million dollar projects and high-level strategy planning. He has a strong academic background in both the business and engineering areas, and diverse experience in managing complex projects, defining future growth opportunities and developing a diverse workforce.

Read the full Alan Anderson Named as Commerce Commissioner release.

He has 30 years of leadership and development experience in the oil and gas industry, serving on the management team for the Tesoro Corporation. Before retiring from the company last year, he served as vice president of operations strategy and development, charged with the overall development of future business opportunities and the evaluation of strategic options for the company’s future growth.

“Alan’s proven leadership and extensive experience will be a great asset for the Department of Commerce and the state of North Dakota,” Dalrymple said. “His strong background in strategic planning and business development will be a valuable resource as he leads the Commerce team and advances the state’s aggressive economic development efforts.”

A native of Underwood, Anderson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering from the University of North Dakota and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Utah.

He was elected chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council and has served on numerous boards, including Bismarck State College and the Bismarck/Mandan Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed to the North Dakota Oil and Gas Research Council and has been active with Dickinson State University’s Business Challenge, the Missouri Slope United Way and the American Red Cross.

“I am looking forward to serving on the Governor’s cabinet and appreciate this opportunity to serve the citizens of North Dakota,” Anderson said. “I am excited to work with the state’s many business and education partners to continue to grow and diversify North Dakota’s economy.”

family in north dakota

There’s plenty of North Dakotans in the Twin Cities and we’re looking for a few who want to come home to ND! North Dakota businesses and economic developers are heading to Minnesota to participate in an upcoming Experience North Dakota event. This event, to be held May 13 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, will showcase thousands of current job opportunities available in North Dakota in an effort to lure former North Dakotans and other job seekers to the state. 

Over 20 North Dakota employers will be represented on the recruiting mission. Those interested in attending can find more information and RSVP at

“This event will give job seekers and business leaders from the Twin Cities a chance to connect with the state of North Dakota,” Governor Jack Dalrymple said. “They will learn about our pro-business climate, our strong economy and how they can be a part of our future.”

  Commerce is sending thousands of invitations to former North Dakotans, friends of the state, and potential job seekers in targeted high-demand occupations living in the Minneapolis area.

 “The goal of these events is to help businesses from the state attract new talent to fill their growing needs for labor,” Paul Govig, acting commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, said. “Job seekers will get to know North Dakota employers and community leaders, all while getting a taste for what the state can offer.”

Web Fair ND

Web Fair Logo

Check out North Dakota jobs online at the entire month of May.

For those who aren’t in the Minneapolis area, but still are wanting to return home to North Dakota, be sure to check out our online job fair at Web Fair is running the month entire month of May and featuring a variety of jobs and employers from across the state. Your next great job may just be waiting in North Dakota.

What can we say, North Dakota loves accolades! The state has recently been recognized for having one of the best job markets in 2010, being number 3 in the nation for “well being,” and for having one of the lowest underemployment rates in the country by Gallup.

Here’s a little insight into the latest Gallup rankings.

 Best Job Market

gallup best job market chartNorth Dakota has a Job Creation Index of 29 which puts us on top for Gallup’s best job market survey.  More than half of the 10 best job markets in 2010 were in energy- and commodity-producing states. Having a significant presence of natural resource-based industries has been a distinct job-creation advantage for North Dakota.

*To learn more about best job markets in 2010 go to


North Dakota is among the 10 states with the highest overall well-being scores, sitting happily at number three with a score of 68.4 on the Well-Being Index scale. The state-level data is based on daily surveys conducted from January through December 2010. The Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index is calculated on a scale of zero to 100, where a score of 100 represents ideal -. The wellbeing index is based on six main elements, evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and basic access.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks U.S. wellbeing and provides best-in-class solutions for a healthier world. To learn more, please visit

*To learn more about well-being go to


North Dakota has a underemployment rating of 9.0-11.9 percent and is in the top 10 states of the union not only in terms of underemployment, but also on measures of economic confidence and job creation.

Nationally, 18.9 percent of Americans were underemployed in 2010, but rates varied substantially across states. A group of six states, mostly in the middle of the country, had underemployment rates of less than 15 percent in 2010 and North Dakota was one of them with less than 12 percent underemployment. Underemployed Americans are generally those who are not working to their desired capacity. The definition of unemployment used as a component of underemployment closely follows the government’s definition; respondents are “unemployed” if they don’t have a job, and are actively looking for work and are available to begin work.

The extent of underemployment in the U.S. varies widely by state, from relatively low levels in the energy states of North Dakota and Wyoming to quite high levels in a number of states, including the nation’s largest, California.

*To learn more about underemployment go to

Note: Thanks to Ambassador and North Dakota Department of Commerce Marketing Intern Stacey Loula for authoring this post.

Follow us on Twitter

RSS North Dakota News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Stuff We Blog About

Follow us on Facebook


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.