Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - November 19, 2023

Miller highlights benefits to ag, energy at ribbon cutting for Green Bison soybean crush in Spiritwood

Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller joined officials from ADM and Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) at the Spiritwood Energy Park on Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the Green Bison Soy Processing plant, North Dakota’s first dedicated soybean processing plant, highlighting the project’s benefits to the state’s agriculture and energy sectors.

Miller helped cut the ribbon on the $350 million Green Bison facility, a joint venture of ADM and MPC that will process up to 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day and supply vegetable oil as a feedstock for MPC’s renewable diesel refinery in Dickinson. Green Bison will produce up to 600 million pounds of refined soybean oil per year while also generating nearly 1.3 million tons of soybean meal to support animal agriculture production in the region. The facility began accepting soybeans on Sept. 18.

“This is truly the beginning of a new era for soybean growers in North Dakota,” Miller said. “No longer will they need to ship nearly their entire soybean crop out of state. With this partnership between ADM and Marathon Petroleum, those soybeans will be purchased and processed right here at home, in North Dakota. Processed into valuable soybean meal and into oil for renewable diesel, adding value to both our agriculture and energy industries. We are deeply grateful for ADM and Marathon’s investment in our economy. We are equally grateful for our farmers, who are the backbone of North Dakota.”

Green Bison is located in the Spiritwood Energy Park, an industrial park with over 500 acres about 10 miles east of Jamestown. Gov. Doug Burgum and his administration worked with ADM and MPC, as well as other state agencies, North Dakota’s congressional delegation and local economic development leaders in Jamestown and Stutsman County, to secure ADM as a tenant in the park, converting the former Cargill Malt facility into a soybean crushing plant.

Burgum welcomes decision to keep MCI’s Pembina bus plant open; state already in talks on training, support

Gov. Doug Burgum announced he has been informed by NFI Group Inc. that it plans to keep its Motor Coach Industries (MCI) bus assembly plant in Pembina open.

Manitoba-based NFI Group announced in May its plans to close the Pembina assembly plant on or before June 2025 as part of a larger cost-cutting plan. Company leadership informed the governor Wednesday that due to strong product demand, including for electric motor coaches, the company now sees an opportunity to continue operations at the plant.

“This is a fantastic development for the MCI employees, the Pembina area and our state’s economy as a whole, and we’re pleased with NFI Group’s decision following our engagement with their leadership through the Governor’s Office and North Dakota Department of Commerce,” Burgum said. “We’ve already been in contact with the company about opportunities for workforce training and other support to help them meet demand as they continue to invest in the plant and its employees, strengthening job opportunities for the Pembina region.”

NDDOT seeks innovative transportation ideas

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), through its Transportation Innovation Program (TRIP), is seeking ideas for innovative transportation projects, processes, and products.

All transportation-based contractors, consultants, suppliers, associations, tribes, and local jurisdictions are invited to submit ideas for consideration.

“We are looking for ideas that are in the deployment and operational stage,” said Russ Buchholz, NDDOT innovation and facilities manager. “This will allow us to make informed decisions and implement selected ideas quickly.”

Transportation Innovation ideas address areas including bridge and structures, construction, operations and maintenance, roadway surfacing, planning, safety, transit, service delivery, and more.

The deadline for consideration is Dec. 31, 2023. The NDDOT TRIP Review Team will evaluate submissions and make recommendations to the NDDOT Executive Team.

TRIP is an ongoing program with annual solicitations. The program is sponsored by the NDDOT with funding assistance through the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information on TRIP and to submit an idea, visit the website at: www.dot.nd.gov/business/innovate.

North Dakota opens Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Survey; public invited to submit comments

The state of North Dakota has announced the release of the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Initial Proposal and Digital Equity (DE) Plan. These documents, along with the BEAD Five-Year Action Plan, outline the state's strategy to improve broadband access and bridge the digital divide across the region.

As part of the planning process, the public can submit comments on these documents. This inclusive approach aims to gather valuable insights and perspectives to inform the development of the final proposal that will aim to address the specific needs and concerns of the community.

"We believe that every North Dakotan should have access to reliable broadband internet," said North Dakota Broadband Program Director Brian Newby. "Thanks to the efforts of North Dakota’s telephone and cable companies, we already are closer to the goal of 100% coverage than nearly any other state.”

"This comment period comes as we finalize our BEAD and DE recommendations to the federal government and represents a significant milestone in our efforts to ensure equitable access to high-speed internet across the state," he said.

The BEAD and DE programs, established by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, has allocated more than $130 million to North Dakota for the development of broadband networks and activities which accelerate broadband adoption.

"The release of the BEAD Initial Proposal and DE Plan marks a pivotal moment for North Dakota's technological future. These documents lay the groundwork for a more connected, inclusive, and equitable digital landscape. The BEAD and DE programs, fueled by federal support, mark our commitment to ensuring every North Dakotan has access to reliable broadband internet,” said Craig Felchle, chief technology officer, North Dakota Information Technology. “We encourage everyone to join us in this effort, submit their comments, and help us shape a digital future that leaves no one behind."

Public comments can be submitted online at Broadband.nd.gov. The deadline for submitting comments is Nov. 30, 2023.