What others think: Johnson thanked for job well doneOver the past 10 years, North Dakota has transitioned from a state with an “also-ran” economy to one with both a budget surplus and low unemployment. What milestones marked the way? What events caught North Dakota observers by surprise and made them think, “Wow, something exciting is going on here”?
By: Grand Forks Herald, The Jamestown Sun
Over the past 10 years, North Dakota has transitioned from a state with an “also-ran” economy to one with both a budget surplus and low unemployment.
What milestones marked the way? What events caught North Dakota observers by surprise and made them think, “Wow, something exciting is going on here”?
Roger Johnson had a big hand in at least two of those events. Johnson’s last day as North Dakota agriculture commissioner was Friday. He had resigned in March in order to accept his new position as the elected president of the National Farmers Union.
And in his 12 years as agriculture commissioner, Johnson not only had an impact on farming in the state, he also helped inspire in North Dakotans a new interest in and enthusiasm for other industries.
Two projects that Johnson had a hand in organizing helped bring this about.
The first is Marketplace for Entrepreneurs. The project had been around since 1989. In its first incarnation as Marketplace for Ideas, it drew about 700 people in Minot and had a farming theme.
But through their sponsorships, Johnson and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., helped broaden the theme and make Marketplace a showpiece event about North Dakota’s industries and economy as a whole ...
The second key project that Johnson helped enliven is the Pride of Dakota brand for items made in North Dakota.
The ag department has administered Pride of Dakota since the program’s start in 1985, and Johnson gave the program his full support. As a result, the Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase gets more popular by the year as consumers and merchants alike see the value of the North Dakota brand ...
Johnson was an important figure in Bismarck during a key decade in which that potential started to be fulfilled. We thank him for a job well done and wish him the best of luck in his leadership of the National Farmers Union.