FARGO, N.D. (Dec. 11, 2020) – The North Dakota Grain Growers Association hosted its annual meeting on December 9. Once again this year the meeting was held in conjunction with the Prairie Grains Conference. However, for the first time both events were hosted virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

NDGGA President Tom Bernhardt said the new format posed a few challenges, but also several benefits. “It’s always been nice to have an opportunity for our members and directors from across the state to gather in person in one place, but the virtual format this year provided a chance for people to attend that might otherwise have not been able to make it,” Bernhardt said. “We were really pleased with the participation and support we received from our members across the state and our congressional delegation in Washington.” 

The meeting had a full agenda including updates from Bernhardt and NDGGA Washington lobbyist James Callan, messages from Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Kevin Kramer, Rep. Kelly Armstrong, N.D. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and an address by Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. North Dakota Wheat Commission Chairman Greg Svenningsen and North Dakota Barley Council Chairman Greg Kessel also provided updates on the work their organizations are performing on behalf of N.D. farmers. 

In addition to adopting new resolutions for 2021, NDGGA members voted on leadership positions. NDGGA officers for 2021 include President Tom Bernhardt of Linton, First Vice President Ed Kessel of Dickinson, Second Vice President Ryan Ellis of Williston, and Secretary/Treasurer Dean Knell of Hazen. Cale Neshem of Berthold and Jarred Billadeau of Ryder were also elected to the board of directors to represent the Northwest and Southwest Districts respectively. 

“We want to give a big thank you to John Weinand and Gary Neshem who retired from our board after four terms of service each,” Bernhardt said. “It’s nice to see we have younger farmers that are passionate about getting involved with our organization, and I think Cale and Jarred will do a fantastic job.”