Manufacturing & Industry

  • All About North Dakota:

    About 75 percent of ND's workers have jobs in the service industry. ND has only a few manufacturing companies. Most of the 15,000 ND citizens with manufacturing jobs work at processing food from crops and livestock. Workers at plants in Dickinson and Finley make frozen bread dough. Many people have jobs at meat packing plants. Sugar is processed from sugar beet at refineries in Grand Forks, Hillsboro, and Wahpeton. A large plant, called ProGold, has recently begun operation near Wahpeton. They process tons of corn every year.


    Some of ND's farmers plant a special wheat called durum. Durum is used for many pasta products. The Dakota Pasta Growers plant and mill in Carrington can process 3 million bushels of durum annually into 35 different shapes of pasta. The 40.9 million dollar durum mill and pasta factory, which is 1 of only 5 or 6 similar facilties in the United States, required cooperation from growers, communities, and banks to become a reality. 


    Oil Some 3,800 ND citizens make a living by taking minerals from the Earth. Oil is pumped from underground fields, cleaned, and processed into gasoline at an oil refinery in Mandan. North Dakota ranks 10th in the United States in oil producing. Oil fuels ignite and burn readily and produce a great amount of heat and power in relation to their weight. They are also easier to handle, store, and transport than fuels such as coal and wood.

    Oil was discovered near Tioga, ND in 1951 and became the state's most valuable mineral. By 1970, oil wells were operating in 14 counties of Western ND, but the price of oil fell sharply in the early 1980's, and the role of oil in the states economy decreased. 



    Coal Miners dig coal from coal mines in the Badlands. Coal is used at power plants to make electricity. Coal is a fuel substance of plant origin. It is composed of carbon and varying amounts of mineral matter. Coal is grouped into four main groups: anthracites, bituminous, sub bituminous, and lignite. Lignite, which is mined in ND, is the lowest in carbon content. North Dakota is ranked number one in coal reserves.

    Coal is used as a fuel chiefly in the production of electricity. Electric power plants use more than 3/4 of the coal mined in the United States. Gas can be produced from coal by burning coal in the presence of forced air or steam. Coal mines are either surface or underground mines. Surface mines involve stripping away the soil and rock to get to the coal. Underground mining involves digging tunnels into a coal deposit.