• Lon Tonneson

    The heavy burden of township service

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 1, 2015

    Ever since I interviewed Milton Limesand, of Marion, N.D., last fall, I have been thinking what it must be like for Milton to serve as a township supervisor. Milton, one of the year’s Master Farmers, serves on his township board, like his father before him. His father, Norman, was killed – murdered actually – in 1999 while doing township work. There was a problem with plugged culvert a couple miles from their farm. Milton says he thinks his dad was shot while checking on the…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Your Most Important Job

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 24, 2014

    If you are a farmer, you might think your No. 1 job is raising crops and livestock. But Lynn Jensen is a farmer and he says that isn’t his No. 1 job. Neither is running several other businesses he started, or serving on community and industry boards, or even serving the President of the United States. Jensen was the USDA Rural Development director in South Dakota under President George W. Bush. “My biggest and most important job is raising two boys that are honest and considerate…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    What Farmers Are Saying

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on July 14, 2014

    I have been on the road a lot the past couple weeks, traveling from Fargo to Deadwood, Beresford and back. Some of the interesting things I’ve heard that haven’t made the papers yet: “No birds! No birds anywhere!” – Barry Dunn, dean, South Dakota State Univesity College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, on what he remembers most from his recent trip with students and others to China. If birds are “canaries in the coal mine” for the…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Friday Buzz: For The Love Of Farm Dogs

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on May 9, 2014

    If you love farm dogs, you’ll these stories from Dakota farmers this week: One is the story of the 3-year-old Cooperstown, N.D., boy who wandered away from his family farmstead this week and was found at 2 a.m. in the morning, lying in deep grass with his dog on top of him keeping him warm. Carson Urness and his dog, Cooper, a Golden Retriever -Shepherd cross, went missing at about 7:30 p.m. The county launched a search on horseback, ATVs and  by air and found him at about 2 a.m. a…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Scholarships For Special Farm Kids

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 29, 2014

    As the chief cook and bottle washer at the Dakota Farmer, I see a lot of press releases about scholarships for students. The programs are great. I remember from when my sons were applying for college what a shot in the arm scholarships were for them. So here is an interesting scholarship: The Gerald and Edith Wallace Fund provides multiple scholarship ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 for North Dakota farm kids have a physical disability. “This particular scholarship is very…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Blizzard Surprise

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 26, 2014

    Ten minutes ago I walked out to the mailbox and the sky was blue, the sun was shining through bright white clouds and there was only a little snow drifting across the highway. Now, the farmstead is socked in. I can’t see much further than the barn, which is a few hundred feet from the house. Beyond it, the world dissolves into white. Had I lived out here in the Red River Valley 125 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have survived the Children’s Blizzard that hit in a similar…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Al Gustin's New Book Chronicles Ag Changes

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on November 28, 2013

    Al Gustin’s new book, “Farm Byline” is a good read and it might be a good Christmas gift for someone on your list. Gustin recently retired from a 45-year career as an ag journalist in North Dakota. The book is a collection of the columns he wrote for the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives between 1974 and today. The columns in the book I liked best were about his own life on the farm and the everyday life of North Dakota farmer and ranchers &ndash…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Al Gustin's New Book Chronicles Ag Changes

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on November 28, 2013

    Al Gustin’s new book, “Farm Byline,” is a good read and it might be a good Christmas gift for someone on your list. Gustin recently retired from a 45-year career as an ag journalist in North Dakota. The book is a collection of the columns he wrote for the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives between 1974 and today. The columns in the book I liked best were about his own life on the farm and the everyday life of North Dakota farmer and ranchers &ndash…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Rancher Finds Her "Winner Within."

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 9, 2013

    I got fired up meeting Holly Hoffman. She ranches with her husband Charlie, near Eureka, S.D., and has become a professional inspirational and motivational speaker. If she is ever speaking at an event near you, take the time to go to listen to her. You won’t be disappointed. In 2010, Hoffman was looking for a new challenge when youngest of her three children entered college. The 44-year-old could have gone back to school herself, gotten a new job in town or even competed in a…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Dakota Farmers You Should Meet: Dawn Scheier

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 10, 2012

    Dawn Scheier, Salem, S.D., says decided to get more involved in advocating for agriculture when her daughter’s college economics professor told the class -- “you couldn’t you couldn’t find a family farmer if you tried” -- and her daughter stood up and told them about her family farm and spent the rest of the period answering questions about farming and food production. “It was a wake-up call for me,” Dawn told Agriculture United For South Dakota…

    Continue Reading