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2/23/2005 – News

Volume 122, Number 3             Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Engelhardt honored
Bruce Engelhardt, right, a 1981 graduate of Minnewaukan High School, and a water resource engineer manager with the ND State Water Commission (SWC), has been awarded the North Dakota State Engineer’s Professionalism Award.
Engelhardt is the son of Claire Engelhardt of Minnewaukan and the late Tony Engelhardt.
The award is presented to a SWC employee who has projected a positive self-image and whose work performance has produced superior products or services that have reflected the professionalism of the SWC.

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Engelhardt, an employee of the SWC for 18 years, was nominated for the award by co-workers and selected for the award by the agency’s division directors.
Engelhardt’s responsibilities with the SWC include the Devils Lake Outlet Project and the Missouri River Master Manual review. He has conducted hydrologic, hydraulic, and preliminary engineering studies throughout the state for projects including flood control, bank stabilization and irrigation development. He also provided coordination with the Corps of Engineers on the federal Devils Lake outlet work and Missouri River issues.
Dale Frink, left, state engineer and secretary of the SWC, presented the award Jan. 8.

State senator is columnist, entertainer, author, salesman
Editor’s Note: This article concerns Ryan Taylor, who represents that portion of Benson County roughly west and north of Minnewaukan in the ND State Senate.
The Forum, (Fargo, ND)

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For Ryan Taylor, "cowboy logic" isn’t just a way of thinking.
It’s a world view.
He defines it as "a way of looking at things that allows you to see the humor in situations that seem devoid of a humorous angle, (like) a look at the lighter side of going broke. It’s also a common sense, horse sense kind of an outlook."
"Cowboy Logic" also is the title of his self-syndicated weekly newspaper column and of two books collecting those columns, the second of which came out late last year. Cowboys can have a bit of a reputation for being laconic, and Taylor, 34, isn’t unusually verbose.
But he has an easy laugh that often punctuates his wry, self-deprecating style.
The column, which runs in Grand Forks-based Agweek and several other publications, is "good therapy and it’s cheaper than a psychiatrist," says the fourth-generation rancher from Towner, N.D., in the north-central part of the state.
That style comes through in his writing. It’s like sitting down over a cup of small-town cafe coffee with a guy who isn’t necessarily the town comedian, but who can draw a chuckle with uniquely phrased observations on a variety of subjects.
Taylor is the kind of columnist who can write about the advantages of plastic pails over metal pails and work in a mock-paranoid reference to "the plastic-pail cartel" in the bargain.
There is no forced folksiness in the columns. When he writes about a cow that died after 15 years on the ranch, there is no crocodile-tear sentimentality.
When he writes about life on the road as a veterinary pharmaceutical salesman, a job he did for several years to supplement his ranch income, there is weariness but no self-pity. It’s a deft, delicate literary balancing act.
"I suppose it maybe comes naturally that it’s genuine," he says. "It’s not a stretch to sit down and write what I really do or what I really experience."
The lack of sentimentality nearly is bred in the bone, at least when it comes to the cattle off which he makes his living.
"Ranchers are going to be more sentimental toward their horses than their cows," he says. "Cattle sometimes, you can love ’em and hate ’em both. That one (the column subject) expired in the barn, so she created just one more last piece of hard work for me before she said good-bye."
Taylor comes from a family that valued reading and writing (his mother still pens a column for the Mouse River Journal, a weekly newspaper headquartered at Towner). He first began writing a column for a fraternity newsletter while a student at NDSU.
One of his instructors there was Fargo artist Steve Stark, who taught a public relations class.
"He was just an outstanding student and I knew this kid was going to go somewhere," Stark says. "Outstanding in enthusiasm and talent and knowledge and zest."
After college, Taylor wrote some free-lance stories for Agweek.
"One week the editor said, ‘We’d like to have something for the editorial page, maybe something a little lighter,’ " Taylor recalls. He began writing a weekly column in 1994 it changed to every other week after six years and "it just kind of snowballed. People like to read about other people and they kind of get involved in your life."
Since then, he has self-syndicated the column to publications in Saskatchewan, Oregon, Nebraska and Nevada. It also runs quarterly in North Dakota Horizons magazine.
Carl Sampson, editorial editor of the weekly Capital Press in Salem, Ore., says Taylor is among his two or three most popular columnists. There are many livestock ranchers in the Salem area and "they just tune right in to what he’s writing about," Sampson says.
"Last fall, in the midst of all the elections, we didn’t run his column one week and, boy, did I hear about it," Sampson says.
Taylor says he’s seldom stuck for an idea for "Cowboy Logic," which runs 550 to 650 words. "I’m sure at least half or two-thirds of the time I do all right because I’ve been thinking about something," he says. "It’s not often, but a small percentage of the time it can be a real struggle."
The ranch and its accompanying lifestyle give him plenty to write about, Taylor says. "Your subject matter is always kind of tied to that ground-level career you’ve got. If I wasn’t on the ranch carrying those plastic pails and chasing those fence-crawlers, people could tell."
Taylor also is a state legislator, now serving his second term as a Democrat in the senate. He’s wary of alienating Republican and independent readers and those from out-of-state, so he doesn’t write about politics in his column. Once he’s through with politics, though, he might try what he calls a "Will Rogers take" on the legislative process, he says.
Despite the abundant supply of subject matter he usually comes in right under his deadline. And he once had to fall back on that oldest of columnist’s tricks, the "I can’t think of anything to write a column on"
He put out his first collection, "A Collection of Cowboy Logic: A Look at the Lighter Side of Going Broke, Raising Cattle, and Living on the Prairie," in May 2002. The new book, "Cowboy Logic Continues: Homegrown Insight on Ordinary Things," in November.
The first book sold about 10,000 copies, Taylor says. The second, available locally at Barnes and Noble, B. Dalton and Zandbroz, has sold about 2,000 so far.
Stark did the illustrations for both books and gives Taylor high marks as a collaborator.
"It’s been fun working with him," Stark says. "Some of (the artwork) is just my own invention and others are suggestions he gives to me, or inspiration that comes from the story. He gave me ideas, which is good."
The books, Taylor says, "are not on the New York Times best-seller list, but it’s fun to go into a bookstore and see your books there."
Between the two books, Taylor got married. He and his wife, Nikki, have an 8-month old son, Marshall. Named after Taylor’s father, the boy is called Little Bud, since grandpa is known as Bud.
He’s uncertain that Little Bud’s birth means "Cowboy Logic" will outlive its creator.
Pondering the question of whether he’d rather have his son be a rancher or a writer, he says, "I would probably like him to be a rancher. If he wanted to write about it someday, that would be awfully gratifying.
"You’d like to see that fifth generation on the ranch, but only if it’s something they felt strongly about. You wouldn’t want them to do it just out of duty."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Pantera at (701) 241-5541. This article originally appeared in The Forum, January 23, 2005.

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Ryan Taylor is shown with his wife, Nikki, and 8-month-old son, Marshall, also known as "Little Bud."

Take part in contest in Nevada
This year’s annual National Make It Yourself with Wool Competition was held
Jan. 27-30 at The Nugget in Sparks, Nev. Representatives came from 35
states. Elizabeth Horner (senior) and Tricia Berg (junior) were chosen in
December to represent North Dakota. The Make It Yourself with Wool
Competition’s purpose is to promote the beauty and versatility of American
wool products. The contestant must construct a garment/ensemble out of at
least 60% wool.
Tricia received an honorable mention in her hot pink poncho embellished
with black mohair yarn accompanied by a dark gray pin-striped slack. Tricia
is a sophomore at Devils Lake High School, a Firebirds wrestling
cheerleader and a member of Top Stitchers 4-H Club. She is the daughter of
Doug and Mary Berg of Devils Lake and the granddaughter of Jean
Christianson of Devils Lake and the late Melvin Christianson and the late
Stanley and Alma Berg of Doyon.
Elizabeth was named fourth runner-up. She also won the top mohair
scholarship of $1,000. Beth’s royal blue princess-line boat-neck sheath
dress was fitted, lined, and below mid-knee. The self-designed fitted
jacket was constructed of coordinating royal blue mohair that she quilted
to 100% worsted wool fabric. The jacket was above the hip in length, had a
mandarin collar, and two-piece sleeves with front and cuff rhinestone
zippers. Beth designed and digitized the labels — "EHDL" (Elizabeth Horner
Devils Lake) with a fleur de lis type motif embroidered on her garments.
Beth is a sophomore at NDSU, double majoring in family consumer science
education and apparel and textiles. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta,
S&S and FABO. Beth is the daughter of Dick and Jane Horner of Graham’s
Island and the granddaughter of Pete and Rose Horner of Napoleon and Esther
Augustin of Devils Lake and the late Milton Augustin.

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Beth Horner, left, of Graham’s Island took fourth runner-up in the National
Make It Yourself with Wool Competition in Nevada Jan. 27-30. Tricia Berg,
right, of Devils Lake won honorable mention. Tricia also has a Benson
County connection. Her grandparents, Jean Christianson and the late Melvin
Christianson, are former residents of Minnewaukan.

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Attend conference
More than 100 people from around the state attended the North Dakota Farm
Bureau Winter Conference at the Kelly Inn in Bismarck, Feb. 4-6. The
conference, a project of the NDFB Promotion and Education Committee and the
NDFB Young Farmer and Rancher Committee, brings together Farm Bureau
members from throughout the state for educational seminars and family
activities. Those from District 4 attending the event were, left to right,
back row, Eric Aasmundstad of Devils Lake, president of the ND Farm Bureau;
District 4 director Jim Engstrom of Leeds; and Patrick Martinson. Front
row: Danielle and Jason Skaar and Jackson, Heidi and Daniel Herman of
Minnewaukan and Sue Ann Locker. Highlights of the conference are available

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Letters from Iraq
Leeds Elementary first graders Tyler Blegen and Lane Ritterman share
letters they received from Iraq as a result of the Valentines for Heroes
program. The intent of this program, initiated by former Governor Ed
Schafer, was to send a valentine to every ND soldier stationed in Iraq and
these two boys were thrilled that they received a personal reply and thank
you from two soldiers currently serving there.

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Lady Indians runners-up in district
Four Winds-Warwick is District 7 girls basketball runner-up. The Lady
Indians hold up their trophy after the Wells County Bears defeated them
57-32 on Feb. 14 at the New Rockford High School gymnasium. Back row, left
to right, are Head Coach Damon Brady, Marlee Finley, Michelle Peltier,
Spring Meade, Jachelle Burdick, Ronni Ironshield, Cassi Allery, Noelle
Gourd, Marissa Baer and Assistant Coach Val Finley. Kneeling, left to
right, are Megan Whitetail, Wanda Stensland, Christina Gourd, Stevie
Ironshield, Miranda Belgarde and team mascot Kris White.

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From one veteran to another
On February 19 SGT Kristine Krueger of Eau Claire Wisc. presented Claudius
A. Wold of Bismarck the flag that was flown at Camp Speicher in Tikrit,
Iraq on January 30, 2005, Iraq’s election day. SGT Krueger is with the
264th Engineering Group based out of Chippewa Falls, Wisc., serving under
the 1st Infantry Division. She returned home February 8 after serving a
year in Iraq. Claudius is a WWII veteran who spent 18 months in the
European Theatre of Operations. He served as an air and ground observer
with the 3rd Army, 12th Corps, 11th Armored Division, 490th Battalion
during the Battle of the Bulge. He is a former Benson County resident and
Kristine is the granddaughter of Florence and Claudius Wold, and the
granddaughter of the late William Hoberg and the daughter of Sharon
(Hoberg) Krueger, also former residents of Benson County. Kristine is
pictured with the flag being flown on January 30 at Camp Speicher.

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Observes 89th
On January 23 family and friends helped Lena Volk celebrate her 89th
birthday. A party was given in her honor at the St. Aloisius Nursing Home
in Harvey. A cake and ice cream lunch was served. Lena was a long-time
resident of rural Minnewaukan.

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Lutefisk in California
Torjus Groff of Lakewood, Colo. (seated left) and Tormod Groff of Mesa,
Ariz. (seated right) visited Maybelle Holk (seated center) in San Diego,
Calif. All are originally from Harlow. They joined Maybelle’s daughter,
Lora Lee (standing left) to attend a Sons of Norway lutefisk dinner on
February 19. The following day Lora and her friend, Kriss Larson (standing
right) entertained the guests on the accordion, violin and Hardanger
fiddle, playing Scandinavian tunes. The photo was taken at Sons of Norway
Valhall Lodge in San Diego.

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