Plant Sciences


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Students Help Reduce Hunger in Fargo-Moorhead

Students in the weed biology and ecology research program at North Dakota State University are making an impact on reducing hunger in the Fargo-Moorhead community by donating beets, beet greens and squash produced by research to Churches United for the Homeless.

November 2, 2017

Although Department of Plant Sciences students Kenneth Paul Beamer, Samantha Hogstad and Anne Gatzke are focused on their studies and research, they have found time to partner with those working to reduce hunger in the Fargo-Moorhead community while working on their degrees.

Beamer is a Plant Sciences master’s student from Earlham, Iowa, who is conducting research in the weed biology and ecology project at North Dakota State University under project leader and associate professor Greta Gramig. Hogstad, who was also advised by Gramig, completed her master’s degree in Plant Sciences in August. Gatzke is an agricultural and biosystems engineering and horticulture double major from Elk River, MN.

Gramig’s research team donated beets and beet tops during the summer and 1200 pounds of squash in October to Churches United for the Homeless, a local organization serving homeless and at-risk individuals by providing daily meals through its in-house kitchen and a self-serve food pantry stocked with bread, baked goods, non-perishables, and seasonal locally produced fresh produce.  “One of the best ways to show you care about people,” Beamer says, “is to feed them.”

The focus of Gramig’s program is to conduct research that helps producers in the northern Great Plains improve soil health and control weeds using ecologically based approaches, while maintaining good yields. Beamer is comparing full-till and no-till vegetable production for his research. Two of the crops he is using in his study are butternut and buttercup squash. In early October, 1500 pounds of squash were harvested by the research team.

Check out the following articles for additional examples of students from the Department of Plant Sciences meeting needs in our community.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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