NORTHWOOD, N.D. — This week, Iris Westman celebrated her 113th birthday. Westman was born in 1905 and is a 1928 graduate of the University of North Dakota. As the oldest living North Dakotan, she still owns and rents out some of the family farmland she grew up on, possibly making her the oldest living farmer in America. "I still have a farm. Yeah, I am a farmer!" says Westman. Westman grew up on the farm with her parents and brothers. Two sisters both passed away when Iris was a young girl.
We have two dogs. Libby is a 3-year-old female Labrador retriever, and Champ is our yellow male Labrador retriever "puppy" who is now one and came to live with us after our dog Mauer went missing last spring and was found dead. They are my sidekicks most mornings and nights when I go for walks.
GRAND FORKS — One night I rattled off a memorized list of linking verbs I've known since seventh grade to help Elizabeth, our fourth grader, power through her homework assignment. The look of amazement that spread across her face was priceless. I went on to explain what my English teachers at South Junior High and Central High School in Grand Forks had taught me.
It's a clean slate with a new year upon us. How you spend your 2018 is up to you. Yes we have commitments we need to keep, but it's good to choose a new project, endeavor, hobby or create a new healthy habit in a new year, I've found. In 2017, outside of work and commitments, our family created new experiences by downhill skiing together and traveling to new destinations. But my favorite non-work project of 2017 was close to home. It happened when my husband Nathan and I purchased a home in our small town, updated it, then listed it with our local realtors to sell again.
Q: What is your role in agriculture today? I am involved with the operation of Gates Manufacturing, a family business which started making farm equipment in the 1980s in north-central North Dakota. We primarily make residue management tillage equipment and some specialty seeding units. The three main products are the Gates Coulter Disk, Gates Coulter Harrow and the Gates Magnum Harrow, which my dad, Mike Gates, invented in the late 1980s. Q: When and why did you choose to come back to your family business of Gates Manufacturing?
WISHEK, N.D. — A small town in northern Minnesota raised the bar recently when the Thief River Falls, Minn., high school superintendent suspended the junior varsity and varsity hockey teams for a week for inappropriate behavior, which was independently investigated. It was also reported that all players will participate in mandatory counseling. All kids need accountability and consistency.