How Does Our Government Work? Do You Have A Voice?

          It’s easy to watch the news and then complain about a new law, regulation, or rule. It’s easy to say “My opinions don’t matter” or “The state should spend our money differently”. I am guilty of not always using my opportunities to speak up about every proposed rule or taking the opportunity to learn more, or to provide input to local board members before a decision is made. But I do appreciate that I have those opportunities, both formal and informal. North Dakota is still a low population state and that means each of has a larger voice in our own government if we want to exercise that voice. I personally know our county commissioners, I’ve spoken with our state legislators, I’ve met and spoken with our national representatives and their staff members. It’s not that I am special or have more opportunities than anyone else, although living in a low population area of a low population state does statistically provide more direct access to our government leaders and staff. I do, however, believe that it is the responsibility of each of us to be aware of how our system works, of current and future issues, and occasionally offer my two cents worth of opinion and knowledge of a subject.

          Do you have an opinion or input to share regarding the needs of agricultural producers and rural residents of our state? Here is a news release from NDSU regarding your chances to provide input to the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE).


Input from the public will help shape SBARE’s recommendations for the 2025 legislative session.

The North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE) is seeking public input on needs in the state.

SBARE provides the North Dakota legislature and governor with recommendations on how the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and North Dakota State University Extension can address critical state needs and ensure that the state’s investments on behalf of North Dakota citizens will yield great long-term dividends.

The input will help shape SBARE’s recommendations for the 2025 legislative session.

“You have a vital stake in North Dakota’s future and are invited to provide your thoughts on critical needs and concepts for solutions,” says Sarah Lovas, SBARE chair. “Specifically, we ask you to provide your input in a format that works best for you.”

SBARE is holding three input sessions:

  • September 14 – North Central Research Extension Center, 5400 Highway 83 S, Minot
  • November 9 – Dickinson Research Extension Center, 1041 State Ave., Dickinson
  • December 12-13 – NDSU Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center, 1241 N. University Dr, Fargo

To set up a time to present 10 to 15 minutes of testimony at an input session, contact Erin McCall at 701-231-7656 or [email protected]. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input at an earlier session to ensure availability.

Other options are:

  • Provide written testimony – Send a letter to SBARE, NDSU Dept. 7520, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
  • Provide testimony by email – Send an email message to [email protected]
  • Provide an online submission – Submit testimony online at

In your remarks, describe your agricultural research and/or Extension needs and potential solutions.