Fargo series debut piquing interest in the real Fargo story

There’s a new cable series based on the movie coming out on Tuesday (Fargo on FX channel). It likely won’t represent much of what really goes on here, but it does create awareness.

 Forbes Joel Kotkin sure likes Fargo, and says we’ve had incredible change in 10 years. He’s right. 10 years ago a majority of young people looked to move to other cities to build their lives. In a 180 degree turnaround, now according to Fargo Public School student surveys, over 65% want to stay and be engaged in our community, with another 10% wanting to stay in the region.

Fun events like “Chalk Fest”, “Streets Alive!”, and Fargo Marathon are just a few of many reasons why Fargo’s become a more fun and interesting community where people want to live, work, learn and play.

 

There’s a new cable series based on the movie coming out on Tuesday (Fargo on FX channel). It likely won’t represent much of what really goes on here, but it does create awareness. 

The upside is, the national awareness provides an opportunity to show folks how good we can really be. The way we grow matters, over the years more people, especially young people, are realizing that a strong downtown with strong walkable core neighborhoods provide a lot of value and a more interesting place to live, work, learn, and play.

Good stuff!

 

Below is an excerpt of Joel Kotkin’s recent article in Forbes Magazine:

Starting Tuesday, the coastal crowd will get another opportunity to laugh at the zany practices of those living in the frozen reaches of the Great Plains. The new television series “Fargo,” based on the 1996 Coen brothers movie, will no doubt be filled with fearsome violence mixed with the proper amount of Scandinavian reserve and wry humor — the very formula that made the original such as hit.

Yet how much will “Fargo” the series resemble the real places? Probably not much. For one thing the series only uses Fargo as a kind of marker; the action actually takes place in Bemidji, Minn., a small town of 12,000 over two hours away. I know distances are seen differently in the northern Plains, but the whole idea seems a bit of a stretch. Located in forest and lake country, many locals would not even consider the Minnesota town part of the Plains.

Less known to the sophistos who will watch the show is that Fargo, a metro area with over 200,000 people, and the state of North Dakota have been enjoying a sustained boom for a decade. This resurgence — in demographics, economics and real estate — follows decades of relative decline and an almost sullen sense of isolation that drove many people out of the state.

In a state where the unofficial motto seems to be “it could be worse” — not a bad notion given the often miserable weather — things couldn’t be much better. North Dakota leads the nation in virtually every indicator of prosperity: the lowest unemployment rate, and the highest rates of net in-migration, income growth and job creation. Last year North Dakota wagesrose a remarkable 8.9%, twice as much as Utah and Texas, which shared honors for second place, and many times the 1% rise experienced nationwide.

The once dreary predictions of demographic decline — epitomized by the proposal two New Jersey academics to turn the area into a “Buffalo Commons” — have been reversed. North Dakota now lures many college graduates from out of state and keeps more of its own as well. Today more than half of North Dakotans aged 25-44 have post-secondary degrees, among the highest percentages in the nation, and well above the roughly 40% number for the rest of the country.

Many will ascribe the state’s rise primarily to the energy boom. To be sure thefastest growth in North Dakota and other Plains states has been in the areas closest to the oil and gas finds. But over the past decade, the population of the Plains has expanded by 14%, well above the national average and far faster than the Midwest, the Northeast or California.

This Plains resurgence is taking place even in areas far from energy development. Fargo, for example, is six hours hard driving from Williston, the center of the Bakken range. Yet despite this the area’s population has been growing, up 20% in the last decade, twice the national average. Since 2010, over 8,000 more people have come to the Fargo metro area, which extends to the Minnesota city of Moorhead, than have left. In fact, the small cities of the Dakotas have been growing faster than the nation for well more than a decade, before the recent energy boom took off.

The growth in Fargo has come not so much from energy, but an expanding industrial and technology sector. STEM employment is up nearly 40% since 2001, compared to 3% nationally. It also leads all other U.S. metro areas in the growth in the number of mid-skilled jobs, providing good wages to people with two-year or certificate degrees. Between 2009 and 2011, mid-skilled employment grew 5%, roughly 10 times the national average. No surprise then that the population with BAs in Fargo has grown 50% in the last decade, well above the 40% rate for the rest of the country.

Yet perhaps nothing illustrates the dramatic changes in Fargo better than its downtown area. Twenty years ago, when I first visited the city, downtown was torpid on a good day. Storefronts were old, funky and often empty. The local hotels ranged between acceptable to sorry.

~End Excerpt~

 

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Congratulations to the history making Bison!

Thanks so much to the Bison for a historic and incredibly fun run!
The nation rightfully fell in love with these tough and fun loving overachievers that not only made the Big Dance, but had a blast being there.

They raised the bar from the great 2009 team and knocked off Oklahoma for NDSU’s first ever win in the NCAA tournament!

Here are some memories of this great week, and go BISON!!

North Dakota State Bison

 

The Bison came out strong and took an early lead in the San Diego State game. The Aztecs defense was spectacular as they’ve displayed all season, and they won the game 63 – 44. I hope they play as well and beat Arizona next.

Thanks to the Bison and coach Phillips and staff for a fantastic season and for making our March Madness a whole lot more fun!

You make Fargo, our community, North Dakota, our region, and March Madness watchers all over the country proud!

Go BISON!!!

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Bison and Coach Phillips making it fun!

Great example of why it’s so much fun to cheer for the Bison and Saul. This quote in today’s NY Times : “On Friday, Phillips went to the spot on the Spokane Arena floor where Alexander released his shot. Phillips bent down and kissed it.

“Two big lip marks right there,” Phillips said.”
~End Quote~

I’m picking the mighty NDSU Bison to dunk the San Diego State Aztecs 71 – 65 tonight. Go BISON!!

Below is an excellent article in today’s New York Times. Thanks for the fun Bison and let’s all enjoy the Big Dance!

 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

North Dakota State Thinks Big, Has Fun, Earns Attention

By 

 

Photo

Lawrence Alexander of North Dakota State forced overtime on Thursday with a 3-pointer.CreditKirby Lee/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

SPOKANE, Wash. — The fun began long before North Dakota State Coach Saul Phillips, in the middle of a news conference Friday (the man has turned scripted drudgery into performance art), asked his boss for a raise. Phillips joked that he got the job in the first place because he “had pictures” of his boss, the athletic director, who just laughed.

“I can rip them up now,” Phillips said in the afterglow of the university’s first N.C.A.A. tournament victory, an 80-75 overtime win over Oklahoma on Thursday. “I’m safe.”

It truly began seven years ago, when Phillips was a North Dakota State assistant and the head coach, Tim Miles, left for Colorado State. (He now coaches Nebraska.) Phillips went to the office of the athletic director, Gene Taylor.

“ ‘Please, please, give me the chance,’ ” Taylor recalled Phillips saying. “He literally pounded on my desk.”

 

 

Every spring, it seems, a little-known team and a big personality emerge from the chaos of the N.C.A.A. tournament to capture more than an equal share of attention. This year, the first candidates are North Dakota State and Phillips, 41. The Bison, seeded 12th in the West Region, play the No. 4 seed San Diego State on Saturday.

 

Photo

“I could try to be ornery and negative, and that would be fake,” said Saul Phillips, whose Bison will play San Diego State.CreditSteve Dykes/Getty Images

 

No one, at least this side of Mercer, is having more fun than North Dakota State. And no collegiate athletic department is riding a bigger crest of momentum.

“About as good as it gets,” Taylor said.

The football team has won three consecutive national championships in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision — the one with the playoffs, not the bowls. The past four years, the Bison have beaten upper-division Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado State and Kansas State.

But Thursday’s basketball victory was bigger, Taylor said. Such things are hard to measure, but Taylor told the story of a friend who wore a North Dakota State jacket into a Washington, D.C., bar to watch Thursday’s game. The bar erupted in excitement when guard Lawrence Alexander made a 3-pointer to force overtime, and patrons cheered the Bison to victory, 3,000 miles from Spokane and a world away from the college’s campus in Fargo.

“He told me, ‘The next thing I know, I had 17 beers in front of me for free,’ ” Taylor said of his friend.

The victory gives North Dakota State unusual and unexpected attention. And no one handles attention better than Phillips.

“I mean, he’s goofy, crazy at times, but a great coach to play for,” Alexander said.

On Friday, Phillips went to the spot on the Spokane Arena floor where Alexander released his shot. Phillips bent down and kissed it.

“Two big lip marks right there,” Phillips said.

Phillips, married and the father of three, was raised in Wisconsin and played at Wisconsin-Platteville for Bo Ryan, now the head coach at Wisconsin. He spent two seasons as an assistant to Ryan and, later, three years as his operations manager. He came to North Dakota State in 2004 as an assistant to Miles.

What makes Phillips different is that he is the rare basketball coach who appears to have fun coaching. He credits that to his time with Miles, during lean years as North Dakota State transitioned from Division II to Division I. During one game, players were a bit out of control, and Phillips recommended they slow the tempo. Miles disagreed.

“We’re not very good right now,” Phillips recalled Miles’s saying. “But we’re not going to be bad and boring. Let’s have some fun.”

For Phillips, who said that he came out of the womb “with a smile on my face,” it has been a core coaching philosophy.

“I could try to be ornery and negative, and that would be fake,” Phillips said. “I can’t do that. In the very corporate, cold world of college basketball, that’s just not my personality. I get the fact there’s a business attached to it, but I don’t deal with that. They have athletic directors that deal with the money side of it. I deal with a bunch of kids running around in shorts. And that’s a pretty good place to be.”

It was one of his more serious responses on Friday. Phillips uses reporters like straight men (and women). Among his more notable responses to a string of serious questions:

■ On the San Diego State star guard Xavier Thames: “I’m hoping there’s an elevator malfunction, and he gets caught in the elevator.”

■ On the physical play against Oklahoma: “Last night, the locker room looked like Chuck Wepner after a fight.”

■ On the team’s battered faces, including that of Marshall Bjorklund: “Marshall’s got a nose; he can smell around corners, man.”

■ On competing against San Diego State Coach Steve Fisher: “He gets to recruit to San Diego — beaches, weather. It’s just not fair. I mean, they should spot us 10 points. We’re in Fargo. We have got beaches, but the lake’s frozen over the whole time, so it doesn’t make any difference.”

(Later, he extolled the virtues of Fargo, with its young population and energy. “Now, it’s cold,” he said. “Bring a jacket. You can take it off when you get inside.”)

The humor is contagious among the players, none of whom had scholarship offers from bigger, better-known basketball programs. (“We’re the great unwashed,” Phillips said.) After the game, when Phillips said of Alexander, “I love him and he’s a winner,” Alexander replied, “I love you, too, Saul.”

Guard Taylor Braun, the Summit League player of the year, joked that the game was no big deal. “Honestly, I don’t know what all the hype is about,” he said. (He quickly conceded that it was “unbelievable” and that “the atmosphere was 100 times greater than expected.”)

Bjorklund, whom Phillips takes great pride in announcing is a pig farmer, was asked about the rough play against Oklahoma.

“I guess down low it was almost like a bar fight,” Bjorklund said.

“So you hear,” Phillips said. “So you hear.”

Taylor, the athletic director, knows that bigger programs may soon be trying to lure Phillips. North Dakota State’s football coach, Craig Bohl, recently left for a bigger opportunity.

“We re-upped Saul last year,” Taylor said, referring to Phillips’s contract. “But I just re-upped my football coach last year, too, and he went to Wyoming.”

~End Article~

Let’s go Bison!….. Let’s go BISON!!….. Let’s GO BISON!!………LET’S GO BISON!!!

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Bison tough out win in OT! Bye, bye Sooners, hello Aztecs

What a game! The Bison proved their physical and mental toughness and came through in the clutch with poise and key free throws to defeat the #5 seed Oklahoma in overtime.

While my pick for the Bison to advance to the Sweet 16 is looking great, I won’t be a billionaire as Harvard and Dayton blew my chance early. Hope they both advance too!

Can hardly wait to for Saturday to see the Bison take on the #4 seed San Diego State Aztecs. GO BISON!!!

The Bison upset deserves the AP’s “Big Story” classification by Tim Booth:

NDSU PULLS 12TH-SEED STUNNER BEATING OKLAHOMA

— Mar. 21, 2014 12:11 AM EDT

Home » Lawrence Alexander » NDSU pulls 12th-seed stunner beating Oklahoma

 

Here’s a synopsis of the Bison victory by ESPN:

SPOKANE, WA – MARCH 20: Lawrence Alexander #12 of the North Dakota State Bison drives the ball..

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Around The NCAA Tournament

Deciding factor: North Dakota State needed an extra session to get it done, but the Bison picked up their first NCAA tournament win.

Player of the game: Lawrence Alexander. He went 10-for-15 from the field and hit 4-for-7 on 3-pointers for a game-high 28 points.

Key stat: Oklahoma tried to live by the 3. It made 12, but it also took 30. The Bison, meanwhile, did their damage at the foul line, where they went 20-for-22.

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Bison will be flying high tonight! Go BISON!!

Bison are DANCING!! It’s fun to see folks around the nation rooting for our high flying Bison.

Here’s a fun article in the Dallas Morning News about it:

 

National analysts nearly unanimous: North Dakota State will beat Oklahoma

Basketball analyst Dick Vitale answers questions from the media after filling out his March Madness bracket against Joel the longhorn at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. If Vitale loses to Joel, he will become Joel’s personal wrangler. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

On ESPN’s Selection Sunday special, every analyst picked Michigan State to win the National Championship in Arlington. Rarely is there consensus on any sports topic. However, analysts have found one more thing they agree on.

North Dakota State will upset the Oklahoma Sooners in the first round. All but two ESPN/CBS analysts believe the Sooners will bow out of the tournament on Thursday when they face the Bison.

Many are pointing to the defense of the Sooners as the reason they are vulnerable. The Sooners rank 302nd nationally in scoring defense, and they will face the 20th most efficient offense in the nation when they face the Bison.

Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, believes the Sooners will stumble to NDSU.

Below is the prediction of all ESPN and CBS analysts for the Sooners:

  • Barack Obama: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Nate Silver: Oklahoma will win 63.8 percent of the time
  • Jay Bilas: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Dick Vitale: Lose in round of 32 to San Diego State
  • Jay Williams: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Gary Parrish: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Matt Norlander: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Greg Doyel: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Jerry Palm: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Jeff Borzello: Lose in round of 64 to North Dakota State
  • Dennis Dodd: Lose in round of 32 to San Diego State
  • Timothy Rapp: Lose in round of 32 to San Diego State

Oklahoma and North Dakota State tip off in Spokane, Washington, Thursday at 6:27 central time; truTV will televise the game.

~You can follow Alex Apple on Twitter @AlexAppleDFW.~

 

 

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Spring is coming! Sign up your garden and fruit trees at FM Gardens Alive! 1 million square foot challenge

You can help meet this challenge by going to FM Gardens Alive! and simply input the size of your food garden area no matter the size.  You can also submit the number of fruit trees or bushes you have or will be planting this season.

Don’t think of yourself as a gardener? Think again, even our small rhubarb patch and tomatoes planted in containers add to the tally!

Thanks to all the great folks that have been working together to promote growing more tasty, healthy local food.

Thanks to Erik Burgess of the Forum and all the other great media that came for the challenge announcement Thursday.

Here’s Eriks article:

Community leaders issue challenge for 1 million square feet of gardens by 2015

FARGO – Community leaders planted seeds Thursday for a metro-wide challenge to have 1 million square feet of gardens by the end of the year.

By: Erik Burgess, INFORUM

 
Rory Beil, CassClayAlive director, speaks Thursday at Baker Nursery in Fargo to announce the Gardensalive! Challenge to plant one million square feet of gardens in the metro area. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO – Community leaders planted seeds Thursday for a metro-wide challenge to have 1 million square feet of gardens by the end of the year.

City Commissioner Mike Williams, who helped kick off the challenge at a news conference at Baker Nursery in south Fargo, said that’s enough fresh fruit and vegetables to cover the Fargodome floor about 13 times.

“We’re going to blow this out of the water,” Williams said of the challenge.

The goal behind the challenge is to encourage healthy eating for children and adults and make Fargo, Moorhead, Dilworth and West Fargo the healthiest metro in the country, said Rory Beil, director of CassClay Alive, the Dakota Medical Foundation’s healthy eating and active living initiative.

Adults that grow gardens eat more fresh produce throughout the year, and the same applies for kids who grow up gardening, Beil said. Another goal of the challenge is to make healthy eating routine for young kids, he said.

“Our eating habits are largely based on convenience and habit, and if we’ve got apples growing in our backyard and we’ve got vegetables in our garden, it’s much more likely that it’s going to become a reality,” Beil said.

The metro had around 318,000 square feet of gardens in 2013, so those are already being counted toward the 1 million square foot goal, Beil said.

An additional 34,000 square feet have been logged this week, bringing the total up to 352,000 on Thursday afternoon.

People can register their gardens online or by picking up a “Gardens Alive!” card at participating local nurseries and garden stores, said Anita Marocco, the challenge coordinator.

Any size operation is counted – from a fully-fledged garden to a single apple tree, berry bush or pot of produce, she said.

“Even containers count. We’ll count your potted strawberries,” she said.

The website will also track food donations. Beil said he hopes the challenge will “overrun our food shelters with healthy food.”

The initiative was inspired by healthy eating challenges in other parts of the country, but Beil said they wanted the challenge for the Fargo-Moorhead area to be “a little more contagious.”

“You can drive down the street and you can see a garden. And that will live on year after year,” he said. “So we think it has the potential to create a little bit of a social movement.”

If the challenge is successful in the immediate metro area, Beil said it could expand into greater Cass and Clay counties.

To register a garden or track the community’s process, visit www.fmgardensalive.org, or call (701) 241-1367.

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Where are folks moving to from the Twin Cities? US Census says……….Fargo!

No surprise to some of us that have seen these trends evolving as we become a more active, attractive, diverse, and interesting community! We’re not only attracting people and talent from the Twin Cities, but several other counties spread around the US.

In several earlier posts, Fargo has received high marks for quality of life. One of my favorites is this “Best places for 20 somethings” 

Here’s a recent article in Minnesota Public Radio ~

“Outside the state of Minnesota, the biggest net recipient of Hennepin County residents was not Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix), not Harris County, Texas (Houston), not Broward County, Florida. It was Cass County, N.D., home of Fargo.

You can see these net gain and loss population statistics with this cool tool from the Census using the Census Flows Mapper. Click on any county in the country and see where everybody’s going.

http://blogs.mprnews.org/ground-level/2014/02/where-did-everybody-go-literally/

~ End MPR article ~

We also have more folks choosing to build their lives in our Fargo area like the 143 people that moved here from Washington County Oregon, and 90 from Weld County Colorado for example.

The trend of outmigration has changed 180 degrees over the past decade. At the last Commission meeting, I mentioned some of these very positive changes from our area students to Jim Gartin of the FM EDC.

In annual Fargo Public Schools surveys asking students if they plan to stay in the Fargo area, the student responses have changed from about 35% 8 years ago saying they want to build their life here, to now around 65% with more wanting to live, work, learn, and play in our region.

Our culture is evolving and we’re becoming a more active and interesting community where people can engage and reach our potential.

It’s fun to see people realize our excellent quality of life and the many opportunities to dream and work together as we design our community for happiness.

Let’s keep growing well!

 

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Where are the folks moving to from the Twin Cities? Census says………Fargo!

No surprise to some of us that have seen these trends evolving as we become a more active, attractive, diverse, and interesting community! We’re not only attracting people and talent from the Twin Cities, but several other counties spread around the US.

In several earlier posts, Fargo has received high marks for quality of life. One of my favorites is this “Best places for 20 somethings” 

Here’s a recent article in Minnesota Public Radio ~

“Outside the state of Minnesota, the biggest net recipient of Hennepin County residents was not Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix), not Harris County, Texas (Houston), not Broward County, Florida. It was Cass County, N.D., home of Fargo.

You can see these net gain and loss population statistics with this cool tool from the Census using the Census Flows Mapper. Click on any county in the country and see where everybody’s going.

http://blogs.mprnews.org/ground-level/2014/02/where-did-everybody-go-literally/

~ End MPR article ~

We also have more folks choosing to build their lives in our Fargo area like the 143 people that moved here from Washington County Oregon, and 90 from Weld County Colorado for example.

The trend of outmigration has changed 180 degrees over the past decade. At the last Commission meeting, I mentioned some of these very positive changes from our area students to Jim Gartin of the FM EDC.

In annual  Fargo Public Schools survey students asking if they plan to stay in the Fargo area. Those surveys have changed from about 35% 8 years ago saying they want to build their life here, to now around 65% with more wanting to live, work, learn, and play in our region.

Our culture is evolving and we’re becoming a more active and interesting community where people can engage and reach our potential.

It’s fun to see people realize our excellent quality of life and the many opportunities to dream and work together as we design our community for happiness.

Let’s keep growing well!

 

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Broadcast times for Food glorious Food! Focus on local foods and gardens

In case you missed the Valley Chefs Association, Northern Plains Botanic Society, and Prairie Roots Food Coops fun local foods and gardens presentations on Monday, you’ve got a chance to catch it on Fargo cable access channel 12 at these times.

Thanks again to all the presenters and it’s wonderful to see so many groups working together toward more fresh and tasty local foods. Save the date for the Cass Clay local food initiative events March 14th and 15th and watch for the 1,000,000 square foot food garden challenge.

February              5              9 p.m.

February              6              8 p.m.

February              10           6 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.

February              12           9 p.m.

February              13           10 a.m.

February              14           10:30 a.m.

Check out Monday’s presentations featuring Prairie Roots local food market, incredible local chefs and their association, and a possible Japanese Garden and Conservatory. Here’s a quick review of the event thanks to KFGO’s Jack and Sandy 

At 8:35 we’ll hear from Kaye Kirsch and the Prairie Roots Food Coop.

Their goal is to open a retail food co-op in the Red River Valley that will be a one-stop shop for all your natural, organic and local food and product needs.

They’re structured as a co-op, which means that members are the owners of the grocery store and they are accountable to them.

9:00 a.m. Jackie Williams of the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society.  Jackie will share about projects they’re working on including; a beautiful Japanese Garden (Photo is of the Huntington Garden in Pasadena), a fruit tree forest, and a living conservatory

At 9:25 Chef Watson of Mezzaluna and leaders of The Red River Valley Chef’s Association will share about their local chapter of The American Culinary Federation founded in Fargo, North Dakota and how they work with local growers for more fresh, local foods in their recipes.

9:45 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Questions from the audience for the presenters.

- See more at: http://renewnd.areavoices.com/2014/02/02/food-glorious-food-focus-on-local-foods-and-gardens/#sthash.f3bTHaCU.dpuf

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Food glorious food! Focus on local foods and gardens

Check out Monday’s presentations featuring Prairie Roots local food market, incredible local chefs and their association, and a possible Japanese Garden and Conservatory.

At 8:35 we’ll hear from Kaye Kirsch and the Prairie Roots Food Coop.

Their goal is to open a retail food co-op in the Red River Valley that will be a one-stop shop for all your natural, organic and local food and product needs.

They’re structured as a co-op, which means that members are the owners of the grocery store and they are accountable to them.

9:00 a.m. Jackie Williams of the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society.  Jackie will share about projects they’re working on including; a beautiful Japanese Garden (Photo is of the Huntington Garden in Pasadena), a fruit tree forest, and a living conservatory

At 9:25 Chef Watson of Mezzaluna and leaders of The Red River Valley Chef’s Association will share about their local chapter of The American Culinary Federation founded in Fargo, North Dakota and how they work with local growers for more fresh, local foods in their recipes.

9:45 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Questions from the audience for the presenters.

The program is open to the public and will be broadcast live on Fargo cable access channel 12. Invite your friends and hope to see you there!

 

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