Area Briefs – Feb. 9


FARGO – The Fargo Public Library is seeking submissions for its seventh annual “Northern Narratives” winter writing project for adults and teens age 13 and older. Submissions in fiction, nonfiction and poetry will be accepted online only Feb. 1 through March 31 at Writing categories and word counts are:

Fiction: 1,000 – 6,000 words

Nonfiction: 1,000 – 6,000 words

Poetry: 1,000 words or less per poem

Selected submissions will be included in the library’s North Dakota Collection. All rules, guidelines and frequently asked questions about the project are available on the library’s “Northern Narratives” webpage at

Material selected for the print publication will be announced in late spring, and all submissions must be original, unpublished, proofread and edited works. All entries are final and stories will not be returned. The selection committee reserves the right to withhold publication at their discretion. Chosen selections shall be subject to “first rights” copyright. Any future publication unrelated to the Fargo Public Library shall require appropriate attribution.

This project is supported by the Friends of the Fargo Public Library.


MOORHEAD – The West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center is now open and serving clients at its new location at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, or M State.

As of the beginning of January, the regional SBDC is headquartered on M State’s Moorhead campus, in room B163, an accessible office and meeting space. Satellite offices on M State’s Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls campuses are slated to open in the coming months.

The regional SBDC office was previously hosted by Concordia College in Moorhead. M State was selected as the new host because of its established partnerships with regional businesses and industry, proven commitment to business development, available resources, and large geographic and demographic footprint.

“We are very pleased to be the host partner of the regional SBDC,” said Marsha Weber, Dean of the School of Business and Information Technology at M State. “This provides a means for us to connect to and serve our communities while providing opportunities for our faculty and students to gain valuable experience working with entrepreneurs and small businesses.”


ST.PAUL – This week, the Minnesota Senate reconfirmed Thom Petersen as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The vote was 63-0. This marks the second term for Petersen, who was first appointed in 2019 by Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan to serve as Agriculture Commissioner.

“Thom Petersen understands how policy directly affects farmers’ daily lives,” said Gov. Walz. “I look forward to continuing our work to support our farmers – from new farmers to the leaders of food and ag companies – while ensuring Minnesota remains a global leader in food and agriculture.”

“From supporting emerging farmers to helping communities recover from drought, I’m proud to work alongside Commissioner Petersen to listen to our farmers and invest in the future of agriculture right here in Minnesota,” said Lt. Gov. Flanagan.

“It has been an honor to serve as commissioner these past four years, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside Gov. Walz, Lt. Gov. Flanagan, and all the dedicated MDA employees to strengthen and improve our ag economy,” said Commissioner Petersen. “Agriculture drives and shapes Minnesota, and I’m proud to represent our farmers, producers, and food makers in the four years to come.”

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