In North Dakota, farming is a way of life. Agriculture makes up 25% of North Dakota’s economic base, and nearly 24% of the workforce in the agricultural sector. At the same time, the risks in agriculture have never been higher. Factors beyond a farmer’s control—disastrous weather, drought, infestations, price collapse, and adverse trade policies—can put entire family farms on the line, and our rural way of life at risk.

North Dakota farmers are some of the most hardworking people you’ll ever meet, but the administration’s trade war is treating them like collateral damage. With China — which is typically the largest buyer of North Dakota soybeans — drastically reducing orders for U.S. soybeans, and a surplus of last year’s crop still occupying grain bins and elevators, this year’s crop literally has nowhere to go.

In this article, North Dakota farmer Jon Casavant from Rugby shared a window into the day in a life of a farmer and how concerns over trade, the weather, and the day-to-day challenges of farm…


For years, 2,000 North Dakota workers and retirees worked hard to take care of their families, and they responsibly saved for retirement. Now, they could lose everything. I’m making sure their voices are heard and I’m standing up for them.

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Imagine that one of your parents or grandparents worked a physically demanding job for over 30 years, and in return, was promised financial security during their golden years. But then— all of a sudden, due to no fault of their own — they find themselves staring down the real possibility that their hard-earned savings could vanish.

That’s the situation currently facing millions of retirees across the country. Without action from Congress, over 1.5 …


Senator. POW. Veteran. Public servant. Patriot. Truth teller. Maverick. Advocate. Statesman. Grateful son. Devoted husband. Loving father. Friend. Hero.

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Alongside his wife, Cindy, Senator McCain was passionate about fighting the scourge of human trafficking and seeking justice for victims. Here we are with U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) at a screening of the film “I Am Jane Doe,” which chronicles the stories of several underage girls who have been illegally trafficked for sex through online classified advertisements.

It’s difficult to describe U.S. Senator John McCain in a few words. He was a force of nature. Both in life and death, his legacy looms very large in the U.S. Senate, around our country, and across the world.

There are so many who have told — and will continue to tell — the story of John’s life, accolades, and legacy — a story that should be told over and over. I’ll leave it to others to do it justice. For me, John was a friend. And for that reason alone, I’m heartbroken to have lost him.

Our friendship started…


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In Langdon last month, I convened a roundtable discussion with farmers, ranchers, agriculture leaders, and lenders about North Dakota priorities I fought for in the bipartisan Senate-passed Farm Bill, my plan for the upcoming Farm Bill conference committee negotiations, and the damaging impact of the administration’s escalating trade war.

I’m working to promote smart trade policies that expand — not shrink — markets for North Dakota producers. As I’ve traveled across the state, I’ve heard strong fears about the administration’s intensifying trade war.

“It’s a disaster. We literally might be piling the beans on the ground with no one wanting to buy them and nowhere to sell them.” —Mayor Justin Sherlock of Dazey & a soybean farmer

As harvest begins across North Dakota, it’s a reminder that our producers have spent years developing their export markets — and now it’s very possible that those critical trade relationships could vanish…


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As a breast cancer survivor, I know what it’s like to live every day with a pre-existing condition. When I listen to other North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions — like asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or pregnancy — talk about their health care trials and triumphs, I hear stories that are probably familiar to most North Dakotans. Ultimately, they’re the experiences of our neighbors, our kids, and ourselves.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will no longer actively defend in court critical health care protections for individuals and children with pre-existing conditions, potentially impacting over 300,000 North…


A few years ago, Kathryn, a mom from Mandan, had her beautiful daughter, Valerie. Valerie was dangerously premature — under two pounds, struggling for her life, and needed immediate open-heart surgery. Valerie is doing well thanks to the care of doctors and specialists who have been able to make sure she gets the best possible start in life, but she could face a lifetime of health challenges. …


As I’ve met with farmers and ranchers across the state over the past several years, it’s clear that they need the certainty of a new Farm Bill before the current bill expires at the end of September. With commodity prices falling as the administration’s trade war is escalating, Congress can’t waste any time or get bogged down with divisive and partisan provisions. The Farm Bill is too important to our farmers and our rural economy. And it’s my top priority.

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Learning about the latest work in agriculture research being done at the NDSU Extension Center in Carrington.

I have always said that as a U.S. senator from North Dakota, my top priority is getting a Farm Bill done. At the beginning of August, I was appointed as one of 9 U.S. senators to serve on the Farm Bill conference committee which is tasked with reaching a compromise agreement between the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Farm Bills before the current bill expires at the end of September.

I’ll join the 47 members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the committee. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I’ll play a role in every piece of the Farm Bill that we will discuss and I’ll advocate for North Dakota’s priorities. The U.S. Senate will keep working throughout August and the U.S. House should keep working too. Getting a Farm Bill done before the current Farm Bill expires on September 30 should be of utmost importance for everyone.

My goal is to give North Dakota farmers, ranchers, and rural communities some much needed certainty amid uncertain times…


While they would have to wait until 1924 to be recognized as American citizens, Native Americans in North Dakota and across the U.S. proudly served their country in World War I. At a time when carrier pigeons and human runners were still commonly used, wires were frequently tapped and codes were easily broken by the Central Powers. To get their messages safely from post to post, the U.S. military turned to Native Americans — whose language was its own code the Germans could never break. Thirty-three tribes, including the Standing Rock Sioux, were involved in this effort. These code talkers saved countless Allied lives.

Richard Blue Earth

Company A, 18th Regiment

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When Richard registered for the draft in 1917, he was working as for the NP Railway. Richard completed his basic training with the North Dakota National Guard. When they reached France, many of these North Dakota soldiers were transferred over to the regiments of the First Division, sometimes known as the Big Red One. Richard was assigned to Company A, 18th Regiment. Other soldiers in Company A were Albert Grass and Joseph Jordan from Standing Rock, as well as Tom Rogers and Joe Young Hawk from Fort Berthold. Killed in battle on October 9, 1918, Richard…


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Private Gehard H. Olson from Fingal, North Dakota, served in World War I from 1917–1919. He was in Company 132 of an infantry battalion consisting of 1,320 men. Under extraordinary circumstances, he was the only man of the original battalion to survive and return home.

This November 11th, countries around the world will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. To help commemorate the World War 1 Centennial, I’m sharing the stories of servicemembers from all across North Dakota who often made the ultimate sacrifice to keep their country safe. Read Private Gehard H. Olson’s incredible story below, as shared by his nephew, Wayne Olson.

The story of Private Gehard H. Olson of Fingal, ND, as told by his nephew, Wayne Olson.

My uncle, Private Gehard H. Olson, served in World War I from 1917–1919. He was in Co. 132 of…


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In an emergency, would you be able to come up with $400?

A staggering 40 percent of American adults would be unable to afford this amount in a pinch without first borrowing the money or selling a possession.

But that’s just for the short-term — what about long-term financial planning, including for retirement?

Unfortunately, we’re seeing trends that show retirement security is more uncertain than it has been in decades. Over one-third of full-time workers across the country don’t have access to retirement plans through their work, including 39 percent of North Dakota private-sector employees. …

Archive: Senator Heidi Heitkamp

Official Medium account for Heidi Heitkamp, former U.S. Senator for #NorthDakota. This is an inactive account.

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