Agriculture & Farm Life
In this section of the Web site, you will learn about agriculture and farm life in North Dakota. You will also learn about housing, as well as other interesting facts about North Dakota life.
Agriculture Products from North Dakota
North Dakota has about 33,000 farms and ranches and uses about 90% of its land for grazing cattle or growing crops. Its major crop is wheat. North Dakota ranks first in the United States for growing barley, sunflowers, and flax. Other important crops are oats and rye. ND also raises sheep, beef, and poultry. The raising of buffalo as a meat product is also a growing industry. Farms and ranches cover much of North Dakota. North Dakota's economy depends heavily on agriculture. The Red River Valley is one of the most fertile farming areas in the world. It lies along the Red River, which forms the North Dakota-Minnesota border. It also forms the border between Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota, as well as Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN.
Some of North Dakota's agricultural products are barley, wheat, hay, sunflower seeds, milk, sugar, and beets. Potatoes, flax, sweet clover, alfalfa, wheat, oats, corn, and soybeans are some other products grown in North Dakota. Durum wheat is used to make spaghetti and many other products. Linseed oil, which is used to make paint, comes from crushed flax seeds. Flax is also used for cigarette paper. Wheat is the chief crop. North Dakota wheat is shipped all over the world. Farmers in North Dakota also raise hogs, sheep, beef cattle, and dairy cattle. In recent years, products such as carrots, which are usually grown in the southern and western parts of the United States, have been grown very successfully here.
Facts about life in North Dakota
North Dakota's state flower is the Wild Prairie Rose:
North Dakota's state bird is the Western Meadowlark:
North Dakota's state tree is the American Elm:
North Dakota's state fish is the Northern Pike:
- North Dakota is 183,123 sq. km
- North Dakota has 9 cities with a population of over 10,000 people.
- North Dakota has 17 cities with a population of over 2,500 people.
- The median size of a community in North Dakota is 185 people.
- 2/3 of North Dakota counties qualify as "frontier", meaning that they have less than 6 people per square mile.
- 2/3 of the counties in North Dakota have annually more deaths than births.
- The State Department of Public Instruction predicts that by the year 2011, North Dakota could lose 30,000 students.
- North Dakota is mainly a farm state. North Dakota has a larger percentage of agricultural workers than most of the other states. About every 51 of every 100 North Dakotans live in rural areas.
- Few settlers came to North Dakota before the 1870's. Transportation was poor and newcomers feared attacks by Indians.
- Large scale farming began in the 1870's. Farming began with horses and oxen. The farms made such enormous profits that they were called Bonanza Farms. People attracted by the success of the farms flocked to North Dakota.
- North Dakota was named for the Sioux Indians who once lived in the territory. The Sioux called themselves Lakota or Dakota, which means allies or friends.
Many settlers lived in sod houses. It was a house with walls made of sod or turf in horizontal layers. Sod houses were constructed by early settlers on the open plains, where there were no trees to supply lumber.