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Zuk Coordinates Food Donation to Indian Reservation

Department of Plant Sciences associate professor Dr. Alan Zuk and former student James Steinberger combined efforts to deliver a large supply of dry edible beans to the St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

February 6, 2018

Department of Plant Sciences associate professor Dr. Alan Zuk and former student James Steinberger combined efforts to deliver a large supply of dry edible beans to the St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The beans, which included navy, pinto, red, black, pink, light red kidney, dark red kidney and great northern, were produced and harvested as part of Dr. Juan Osorno’s dry edible bean breeding research.

Steinberger, who lives near Rosebud and volunteers in the St. Francis Mission Lakota Dental Clinic, contacted St. Francis Mission President Father James Kubicki and Chief Operating Officer Rodney Bordeaux to coordinate the delivery. Zuk worked with Osorno to obtain and transport the beans. More than 6,500 pounds of beans were loaded into a large truck, which Zuk drove to the Mission.

Bordeaux said that the beans will be distributed thorough Tribal Social Services which has an efficient distribution network throughout the four counties in the reservation area. He said that more than 25,000 people in 20 different communities in the reservation would benefit from the large donation.

During his undergraduate studies, Steinberger worked with Zuk and other NDSU students to deliver produce and crops from research plots to emergency food pantries, food banks, churches, reservations and schools in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana.

Bordeaux and Kubicki praised Zuk and Steinberger for their efforts and presented Zuk an honorary Star Quilt for his work (see story here). Zuk was surprised to receive the gift. He said, “The produce and beans are available every year after research is completed and I am happy to make deliveries to those in need.”

Zuk continues delivering to locations in the Fargo-Moorhead area. He typically delivers about 10,000 pounds of dry beans and also close to 20,000 pounds of potatoes from Dr. Susie Thompson’s potato research project each fall.

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

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