Jim Bahm, New Salem, was elected to his first four-year term in District I and Francis Leiphon, Crary, was elected to his third four-year term in district IV of the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC). Bahm represents producers in 13 counties in the southwest part of the state and Leiphon represents 7 counties in north central North Dakota. They were elected by county representatives from within each of their districts who in turn were elected from producers in their respective counties through elections this winter. Their official terms will begin July 1, 2012. The Commission is comprised of seven members, six elected through District elections and one appointed by the governor. Commissioners shape the policies and priorities of the NDWC, and establish the annual budget for checkoff funded activities that primarily focus on research, export marketing, policy and domestic promotion activities.
Bahm has served as the Morton county representative to the NDWC since 2004. Bahm grows hard red spring wheat, barley, flax, corn, oats and sunflowers on his farm near New Salem.
Leiphon is the Ramsey county representative and has served as the Commissioner for District IV since 2004. He currently serves as Chairman of the NDWC and represents the Commission on the U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors. Leiphon grows hard red spring wheat, durum, winter wheat, barley, canola and soybeans on his farm near Crary.
Other current Commissioners include Louis Kuster, Stanley; Brian O’Toole, Crystal; David Clough, Fessenden; Greg Svenningsen, Valley City, Harlan Klein, Elgin and Bruce Freitag, Scranton. Bahm replaces Klein, who will have served the allowable three, four-year term limits on the Commission on June 30, 2012.
Producers elected to serve as county representatives from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2016 in the districts are listed below. Incumbents are denoted with an asterisk (*).
District I – Southwest
- Adams – Steve Wegner, Reeder*
- Billings – Loren Bock, Belfield*
- Bowman – Neal Freitag, Scranton
- Dunn – William Flaget, Halliday*
- Golden Valley – Andrew Smith, Beach
- Grant – Wes Frederick, Flasher
- Hettinger – David Anderson, Dickinson*
- Mercer – Gary Knell, Hazen*
- Oliver – Patrick Doll, New Salem*
- Sioux – Jamie Heid, Selfridge*
- Slope – Jim Powell, Bowma
- Stark – Bob Kuylen, South Heart
District IV – North Central
- Benson – Phil Volk, York*
- Bottineau – Lenny Artz, Bottineau
- McHenry – David Thom, Granville*
- Pierce – Ken Schaan, Rugby*
- Rolette – Matt Graber, Rolette
- Towner – Jeff Teubner, Cando*
The North Dakota Wheat Commission works to expand worldwide use of North Dakota wheat. Wheat producers finance the effort entirely themselves through a wheat checkoff system. The checkoff rate is presently 1.5 cents per bushel.