Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The harvest of this year’s U.S. corn crop is about 90 percent complete, and it is going to be a bin-buster. If it surpasses 2009's astonishing 13.1 billion bushels, it could become the largest in U.S. history. American farmers are growing more corn today than at any time in the past, and the trend is accelerating. The last five years have brought us five of the largest corn crops ever. Where to store the stuff is becoming an issue: When the bins and elevators are full, the corn is simply piled on the ground. Bankers are saying that we are experiencing the best farming environment in decades.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Dragseth contributes to CNN

True tales from work: I fell into this career but I love it

Read the entire article here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Redefining 'Niners': Football on The Great Plains

At 0.5 people per square mile, Harding County, South Dakota is one of the least populated places in the nation. The county’s only high school, located in Buffalo, is small by even small-town standards, with 85 students in grades 9-12. However, few schools can match its gridiron success. Nicknamed after the primary industry in the region, “The Ranchers” football team has experienced only one losing season in its 44-year history.

Harding County’s teenage boys suit up every Friday night and dominate 9-man football.

Read more ....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Young Entrepreneur Success Story

The September City Magazine is on the stands. This month's Young Entrepreneur Success Story is Riverbound Farm of Bismarck. Pages 12-14.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Guys Gone Wild: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Begins

Yesterday marked the opening of the outrageous phenomenon known as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a week-long, $987 million party for about 500,000 people. Every year in early August my sleepy hometown, Sturgis, population 6,500, hosts a half million biking enthusiasts who swarm here for a combination carnival, racing event, party, music festival, and shopping mall.

Read more . . .

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Listen to Debora on NPR's On Point

It seems like only yesterday that the Great Plains, the magnificent center of the country, was being written off as an economic basket case. Towns boarding up. People leaving.

The case was made to give the region back to Mother Nature. To make it a “buffalo commons” again.

Oh, how things change. Today, while so much of the country is struggling economically, the cities of the Great Plains are booming. Don’t laugh at Fargo. It’s got jobs. Agriculture and the energy biz, low costs – and low wages.

Listen to the On Point radio show at:


Joel Kotkin, author of the Newsweek article “The Great Great Plains: How heartland cities like Fargo and Omaha became the nation’s new boomtowns.” His latest book is “The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050.” He’s a distinguished fellow in urban futures at Chapman University in California.

Debora Dragseth, associate professor of business at Dickinson University in North Dakota. She’s author of “Should I Stay or Should I Go?,” a study on the outmigration of North Dakota college students.

Frank Popper originated the idea of the “Buffalo Commons” — along with his wife, Deborah Popper — in their 1987 article in “Planning Magazine,” “The Great Plains: From Dust to Dust.” He is professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University and also teaches in the environmental studies program at Princeton University.

Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine. He writes Forbes’ “Digital Rules” blog. He’s author of “Life 2.0: How People Across America Are Transforming Their Lives by Finding the Where of Their Happiness.”

Sunday, July 4, 2010

NewGeography: "Sponge Cities on the Great Plains" by Debora Dragseth

“Sponge cities” is an apt metaphor to describe urban communities in rural states like North Dakota which grow soaking up the residents of surrounding small towns, farms and ranches. North Dakota’s four largest cities, Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot, are growing in large part due to the young adults who for decades gone elsewhere to other regions. In the process, rural North Dakota is facing a protracted population crisis as significant numbers of its small communities are on a slow slide to extinction. This migration pattern is not new, nor is it unique to North Dakota.
Continue reading at

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quoted in Forbes and Newsweek

This month I had the opportunity to meet author and demographer, Joel Kotkin, at the Great Plains YP (Young Professionals) Summit in Bismarck, ND. I was there giving a speech on Happiness.

Joel quoted me in Forbes (see below). Read Joel Kotkin's entire article at

Read the Newsweek article, "Why the Great Plains are Great Once Again," at

Business Watch Magazine: "The Advance of Oil" by Debora Dragseth

The last big oil boom in North Dakota began on Christmas Day in 1976 with a discovery well in Little Knife and ended in 1986 when the world oil market collapsed. Technology and world markets have clearly evolved, this piece from Business Watch Magazine looks at other similarities and differences between the oil boom of a generation ago and the oil boom that western North Dakota is experiencing today.

Read the article at

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Business Watch Magazine: "Ten trends that will reshape North Dakota in the next ten years" by Debora Dragseth

Strategic advantage belongs to the innovative businesses that are able to recognize trends and take advantage of them; therefore, trend spotting should be an integral part of every successful business’ strategy.

As we stand on the precipice of a brand new decade, I sat down with experts from around North Dakota and asked them one question: What are the trends that will reshape North Dakota in the next 10 years?

Read the entire piece here: