By Bill Anderson
After a week of what can only be described as oppressively hot and humid weather conditions, relief arrived early on the morning of Tuesday, August 14, in the form of a cold front that swept down from Canada, entered the U. S. free of tariffs, and dropped temperatures from the 90’s to the lower 50’s before the mercury bounced back up into the mid-70’s by mid-afternoon. The hot weather has allowed the wheat harvest to proceed at a rapid pace, with semis hauling wheat to the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op’s Rutland facility in what seems like an endless stream of huge trucks with smiling drivers, and the Co-op’s semis hauling the wheat out to larger, unit train loading facilities about as fast as it comes in. Much of North Dakota’s grain harvest: wheat; corn; and, soybeans; has gone for export, to markets in Asia and Europe, for many years, but America’s withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership, and the escalating trade war with China and the European Union, has resulted in favored treatment in those markets for wheat from traditional competitors, such as Canada, Australia & Argentina, and Chinese domination of a trading bloc on the Pacific rim that was once dominated by the U. S. until early in 2017 when the U. S. pulled the pin and abandoned the field to the competition. North Dakota’s soybean producers are now looking at a potential bumper crop to harvest with a shrinking market into which to sell it. As of Thursday, August 9, according to a member of the North Dakota Soybean Council, there were no orders for North Dakota soybeans at ports on the Pacific coast. “Trade wars are good, and easy to win,” a President once said, but this trade war is starting to look bad for the good guys, and any way you cut it, it’s looking as if North Dakotans are once again being played for suckers by powerful interests, both political and economic, outside the State. Well, election day is coming up. You never know, those North Dakotans just might fool them.
Saturday, August 4, saw a lot of action in Rutland: RLF & MD rummage sale & scalloped Potatoes w/ham dinner at the Town Hall; Sargent Central International Ambassadors of Music Junk-Fest, Farmers Market and dunk tank fund-raiser on Arthur Street; and, the 10th Annual Rutland Rib Fest on Main Street. Following are reports from Pam Maloney, Debbie Banish and Mike Pyle on the day’s activities. From Pam: “We did very well at the rummage sale/dinner. We made $500 on the rummage side & $525 on the dinner. The total of $1025 will be split evenly between Sargent County Relay for Life and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.” From Debbie: “We had 10 junk-Fest vendors and 5 farmers market stands. All five of the music students: Tyler Banish, Eric Bergeman, Ethan Bergeman, Kiauna Bergh, and, Thomas Mehrer took turns getting dunked. Their day started around 7:30 am when they greeted the vendors and helped them set up, as needed. A freewill bucket was set up at the ‘entry’ to the vendor area which was outside, on Arthur Street, between the Erickson Building the Rutland water tower and the Rutland Oil Co. building. The students had fruit trays and water for sale, as well as the metal artwork. Thanks to Rutland Fire Chief Andrew Woytassek and the Rutland-Cayuga Rural Fire District, the dunk tank was set up and filled with water just after noon to give the water time to warm up before the fun began at 4. Each of the kids took a 30-minute shift on the dunk chair. Their time in the tank ended around 7 when others who wanted to donate the $5 could sit in the tank and be dunked. That was a big hit with the younger kids. The students made just over $1,200 from their August 4 effort. The Sargent Central International Ambassadors of Music students and parents also volunteered at the Bobcat employee picnic in Gwinner on Sunday, August 5, to raise more funds to help pay for the trip. They will also be selling the metal artwork and will have a raffle board at Uff-Da Day in Rutland on Sunday, October 7. A freewill supper fund-raiser will be served prior to the Sargent Central One Act Play in November at the Sargent Central Events Center.” From Mike: “There were 5 rib chefs in the competition for the Best Ribs In Rutland title this year: Mahrer Brothers; Hanna Brothers; Digger’s Barbecued Ribs; Little Guy’s; and, Stoke & Smoke. The Best Ribs In Rutland title went to Hanna Brothers this year, the second time they have won the competition in the event’s 10 year history. Second place went to Little Guy’s, in that teams first appearance in Rutland. The judges admitted that all the ribs were delicious, and that their decision was both difficult and delightful. The judges in 2018 were: Arthur Davidson of Rochester MN, Mike’s Dad; Jeremy Becker, formerly of Rutland, now of Rochester MN; and, one surprise, anonymous judge selected from the crowd at the last minute when the regular judge was not able to be here. It’s a tough job, but somebody had to taste all of those ribs. The people judged all of the ribs to be delicious, because all of the rib vendors sold out. The 11th Annual Rutland Rib-Fest is being planned for the same weekend, same location in 2019.” Thanks to Pam, Debbie & Mike for the reports, and for another big day in the little city that can.
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