Plains Folk

Deb Nelson: Bakken Outlook ~ Helping Victims of Sex Trafficking

Tuesday, January 9
 Vision West ND, a consortium of the energy producing counties in western North Dakota recently commissioned an updated study to help them plan for future employment, population, and housing needs. Here to discuss this updated outlook is Deb Nelson of DLN Consulting, a Dickinson firm serving as administrator for the Vision West group. ~~~ The problem of sex trafficking is often an unrecognized problem, but in 2016, 72,000 ads appeared on Back Page selling women or children in North Dakota. Here to discuss the issue is Lisa Hanson, founder of “The Next Step ND,” a financial and relationship building program for survivors of human trafficking. This Friday, a community event called “Purses for a Purpose” will be held in Fargo to help trafficking victims. ~~~ More and more people are walking illegally into Canada as President Trump cracks down on immigrants in the United States. The increased number is testing a nation that historically welcomes refugees. The story from NPR’s Lorne Matalon in a story first heard on yesterday’s Morning Edition.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

Clay Jenkinson ~ Glyphosate Weed Killer ~ Snowmobile Race ~ Books to Read in 2018

Monday, January 8 –
“Into the Amazon” is a new television documentary from American Experience. It’s the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing expedition down a tributary of the Amazon River. It debuts tomorrow night on PBS at 8 central. Clay Jenkinson is one of the scholars interviewed, and he joins us to discuss his involvement with the project. Clay is a distinguished scholar of the humanities at Bismarck State College and the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University. ~~~ Glyphosate is a controversial ingredient in the popular weed killer Roundup. Several lawsuits allege that the chemical causes cancer. Monsanto, which makes the weed killer, has joined several agricultural groups to sue California over warning labels about cancer on Roundup. Harvest Public Media reports. ~~~ Would you go on a cross-country snowmobile race that’s over 500 miles long and takes three days? Brian Nelson of USXC Racing tells us about the upcoming International 500 from Winnipeg to Bemidji, Minnesota. Brian is a two-time winner of the I-500, which has quite a history. ~~~ Need book suggestions for 2018? The Washington Post’s Book Editor Ron Charles has you covered. He visits with Todd Zwillich from The Takeaway.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

Sustainable Food Systems ~ St. John’s Bible Exhibit Extended ~ News Discussion ~ Movie Reviews

Friday, January 5 – Cass Clay Food Partners and Ugly Food of the North are two organizations working to create healthy, sustainable food systems. They launched a speaker’s series this morning.We hear from three members of the group Growing Together, A Community Garden Ministry.~~~ We share an excerpt from this week’s Prairie Pulse television show as guest host Barb Gravel visits with Maureen Kelly Jonason, the executive director of the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center. ~~~ In a Natural North Dakota essay, Chuck Lura discusses merlins. ~~~ Our weekly chat with news director Dave Thompson. ~~~ Matt Olien reviews two new movies: “The Disaster Artist” and “All the Money in the World.”

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

Governor Doug Burgum on Education ~ Food Trends with Chef Rosey

Governor Doug Burgum

Thursday, January 4 –
Earlier on Main Street we previewed the new Cutting Ed Podcast, a collaboration of North Dakota United, Prairie Public, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and philanthropist Ted Dintersmith. We’ll be airing portions of those conversations, and today we feature host Tom Gerhardt’s visit with Governor Doug Burgum. ~~~ The sales of grass fed beef have soared in recent years. Fans say raising cattle as much as possible on grass, instead of bulking them up with grain at feedlots, leads to beef that’s healthier and better for the environment. Yet, that very grass may be changing in ways that’ll affect beef production. Alex Smith reports for Harvest Public Media. ~~~ We continue our conversation about food trends with Chef Tim Rosendahl of Rosey’s Bistro in Fargo. ~~~ Doug and Ashley have our What’s Happening calendar of events.



This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

Geoengineering and Climate Change ~ Mark Trahant Commentary ~ Blizzard Bluegrass ~ Winter Gardening

Dr. Douglas MacMartin

Wednesday, January 3 – Could geoengineering mitigate the effects of climate change? It’s an approach inspired by volcanic eruptions that cause cooling by injecting sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. Joining us is Dr. Douglas MacMartin, a senior research associate at Cornell University. ~~~ UND journalism professor Mark Trahant commentary as congress faces new pressure to cut federal spending. Visit Mark’s blog at ~~~ Jill Weise of the band Cotton Wood stops by for a preview of the Blizzard Bluegrass weekend. ~~~ Horticulturist Ron Smith is here for a mid-winter conversation about seed catalogs, rabbit damage, houseplant care, and low temperature impacts on outdoor plants.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

“The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder” ~ Historian Tom Isern ~ Biologist Chuck Lura ~ Bruce Berg Commentary

Tuesday, January 2
Best Selling author Marta McDowell’s latest book is called “The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books.” McDowell looks takes a fresh look at Wilder by examining the author’s relationship with the land. She visits with Lori Walsh of South Dakota Public Radio’s “In The Moment.” ~~~ Tom Isern shares a Plains Folk essay titled “Beaches of Manitoba.” ~~~ We share an encore presentation, one of our favorite interviews of 2017, as Ashley visits with Natural North Dakota essayist Chuck Lura, biology professor at Dakota College in Bottineau. ~~~ Commentary from Bruce Berg: “Uriah,” as he looks at the lessons for today from the Charles Dickens novel, David Copperfield.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

Our Year-End Editors’ Roundtable ~ Matt Reviews “3 Billboards”

Friday, December 29 – Our year-end Editors’ Roundtable with news director Dave Thompson and special guests, Jack Zaleski, columnist for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, and Mike Jacobs, the former editor and publisher, who still writes for the Grand Forks Herald. ~~~ Matt Olien reviews “Three Billboards,” starring Frances McDormand.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

First European Child


In 1806, 26-year-old John Fubbister signed on to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada. John was from the Orkney Islands of Scotland, and soon became known around Fort Albany as The Orkney Lad.

Working as an agent, Fubbister paddled his canoe up-river to deliver supplies to remote fur trading outposts. He was small, but he worked hard under harsh conditions, and within a year he earned a raise for performing his duties “willingly and well.”

In 1807, Fubbister was assigned to a brigade that canoed and portaged 1,800 miles from Fort Albany on Hudson’s Bay to the Red River near Pembina. What nobody knew was that John Fubbister was actually a woman named Isabel Gunn. The other thing they didn’t know — she was four months pregnant during the trek.

Isabel had begun a relationship with a man named John Scarth while they were still in Scotland. When Scarth signed on with the Hudson’s Bay Company, Isabel did, too.  Some say she didn’t want to be separated from Scarth. Others believe it was because she was poor and had only two other options: get married or be a domestic servant. Whichever the case, women weren’t allowed in the company, so she disguised herself as a man.

Isabel and Scarth kept their affair hidden for a year. When she became pregnant, she kept on working, and by fall, the colder weather allowed bulkier clothing to hide her condition.

When Isabel went into labor, she went to the house of the man in charge of the post, Alexander Henry. She asked to sit by the his fire because she wasn’t feeling well.  Henry was puzzled, but agreed. He went to his room, but was later summoned. As he wrote in his journal, “I stepped down to him, and was much surprised to find him extended on the hearth, uttering dreadful lamentations; he … begged me to be kind to a poor, helpless, abandoned wretch … an unfortunate Orkney girl…”

And so it was that one John Fubbister gave birth on this date in 1807. Isabel not only made history by being the first European woman in Canada, but also by giving birth to the first European child born in what would one day be North Dakota.

Isabel and her baby were sent back to Albany, but she could only find work as a nurse and washerwoman. In 1809, she sailed back to Orkney where, it is said, she died a pauper in 1861 at the age of 90.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

Bitcoin ~ Plains Folk Essay ~ Chef Rosey on Food Trends

Thursday December 28 Bitcoin has been making a lot of news, with an astonishing leap in value, but just what the heck is a cyber currency? Are we all going to be using such global currencies in the future? Are there risks? Here to answer some of the questions, and to explain how he’s making a business out of the currency, is Ryan Berry, the CEO of Fargo Bitcoin. ~~~ A Plains Folk essay from NDSU history professor Tom Isern, A One-Spotted Hog. ~~~ Chef Tim Rosendahl joins us to continue our conversation about current food trends. ~~~ Doug and Ashley have our What’s Happening calendar of events.


This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

From Three to Five Justices


North Dakota’s Supreme Court has changed a fair amount from its early years. Since 1910, members of the bench have been elected on a no-party ballot. In 1930, term limits increased from six to ten years. In 1985, Beryl Levine became the first woman to serve on the court.

One change took place in 1908 when it was decided to add two seats to the court. Voters had passed a constitutional amendment in the general election that raised the number of justices to five. The referendum passed with almost seventy percent supports.

It was on this date in 1908, that the state bar association adjourned a special meeting and sent Governor John Burke a letter with its nominees of six Democrats and six Republicans to fill the new seats. The governor selected Republican Sidney E. Ellsworth (a Jamestown attorney), and Democrat John Carmody (who had served terms as Hillsboro’s mayor and Traill County’s state’s attorney).

Ellsworth and Carmody began their appointments in January of 1909, but their tenures were short lived, as both were defeated in the 1910 election. Carmody became an assistant attorney general and eventually an assistant U.S. attorney for North Dakota. He died in 1920. Ellsworth returned to his practice in Jamestown and later served as counsel to the State Highway Department. He died in 1945.

Today, five justices continue to sit on the North Dakota Supreme Court.  And new appointments continue to be filled with the assistance of a judicial nominating committee of the State Bar Association.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura


1908 North Dakota general election results:’%20Election%20Results/1908/General%20Election%2011-03-1908.pdf

State Bar Association of North Dakota. (1909). Proceedings of the state bar association of North Dakota.     Tribune, State Printers and Binders: Bismarck, ND.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Plains Folk. « Go Back

Award-winning radio, television, and public media services that educate, involve, and inspire the people of the prairie region.

Donate Now

Breaking News

Follow Us On Social Media