We like to think of the Fargo business community as a giant puzzle and the people who comprise it as the different but equally essential pieces. Take one person, one company, or one industry away, and the picture becomes incomplete. Faces of Fargo Business is our chance to piece that puzzle together each month and celebrate the countless people who make this such a great place to work.
Owner & Manager, Dalrymple Farms
Jack Dalrymple has quite a bit more free time since his term as the 32nd governor of North Dakota ended in December 2016, free time that’s now being devoted to his family farm southeast of Casselton, North Dakota.
Dalrymple took over the management of Dalrymple Farms in 1972, a position he still holds today.
“I’m the overall manager,” he says. “It’s a pretty conventional soybean, corn and wheat operation. At times, we’ve had sugar beets on our land, (but) I would say soybeans and wheat are our main enterprises.”
The land holds a special place in Dalrymple’s heart. His great-grandfather built a house on the farmstead in 1880, a house that Dalrymple and his wife, Betsy, still live in today.
“It’s kind of amazing that my family has stayed on that ground all these years,” Dalrymple says. “The prairie sod was broken by my great-grandfather in 1875. The first wheat crop was planted in 1876, and we’ve been there ever since. Not many North Dakota farmers can say that.”
It was North Dakota’s first large-scale wheat farm, and Dalrymple has been a part of its operation for more than 45 years. He returned to manage the farming operations after graduating from Yale University in 1970.
His service in the North Dakota legislature began in 1985 when he was elected to represent a rural Cass County House district, serving eight terms. In 2000, Dalrymple was elected North Dakota’s 35th lieutenant governor, serving 10 years under former Gov. John Hoeven. He was then sworn in as governor in 2010.
Dalrymple’s background in agriculture and role as the founding board member of Carrington-based Dakota Growers Pasta Company has helped the company become the third-largest manufacturer and marketer of dry pasta products in North America. He earned the 2007 Ernst and Young Midwest “Master Entrepreneur of the Year” award for his work with the company.
Now back on the family farm full-time, he’s being honored with another award. The NDSU Harvest Bowl agribusiness award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of agriculture and business in North Dakota and beyond.
A longtime supporter of North Dakota State University, Dalrymple says he feels honored to receive the award. And being able to devote more time to the family farm makes it even more special.
“I feel a lot freer than I used to,” he says. “It really is nice. I’ve told people that farming is more fun for me now than it ever has been. I can focus on it, and I have great perspective on the enjoyment of the occupation of farming. It’s a great lifestyle. Betsy and I really enjoy waking up in the morning and being on the farm.”
Owner & Social Media Guru, Twenty Below Coffee Co.
If you grew up in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Danae Moran’s story might be a familiar one. Raised just outside the metro in Barnesville, Minnesota, the oldest of a six-child family had no intentions of sticking around after college.
“Like many, we thought we’d leave town after graduating,” says Moran, who met and married her husband, Michael, while earning a degree in social work at Minnesota State University Moorhead. “But career opportunities kept coming.”
Michael was hired as a high school history teacher, and Danae began working with foster children and later with Unseen, a local nonprofit that works to fight human trafficking.
A few years later, Danae and Michael met and joined forces with fellow local couple Ty and Elisha Ford, and in April 2015, they opened the doors of Twenty Below Coffee Co., a Downtown Fargo roastery that specializes in artisanal brewing methods (it’s not uncommon to hear terms such as “aeropress” and “chemex” thrown around), fair-trade import practices and genuine relationships with their customers.
“We often have lunch at Twenty Below over the community lunch hour, where the bar closes down to allow our staff and customers the chance to sit down and eat together,” Danae explains. “Getting to eat lunch together with Michael and some of our best friends in the middle of the workday is a real treat.”
After the birth of their child in late 2015 and nine months of trying to juggle the chaos of caring for both a newborn and a new business, Danae and Michael decided she would stay home full-time with their baby girl.
“It’s such a relief to be able to devote the time and attention to her that I need to,” says Moran, who, in addition to mom duties, curates and manages Twenty Below’s social media platforms from home.
It’s an especially exciting time at Twenty Below, Danae says, as they prepare this fall to hire a roaster apprentice, a step that will allow them to get more coffee out the door via home subscriptions and wholesale clients.
Twenty Below Coffee Co. | 20Below.Coffee • 14 Roberts St. N, Fargo
Director of Business Development, Industrial Builders, Inc.
“Family will always have your back, but the only difference between a hug and headlock is arm placement,” Erik Diederich says.
The director of business development at Industrial Builders, Inc., a West Fargo-based commercial general contractor, didn’t always know he was going to work for the family business. He explored different options in downtown development and photography but says he realized there was a real opportunity for advancement and innovation in the construction industry, leading him to eventually join Industrial Builders’ team.
“There are plenty of pros and some cons to working in a multi-generational family business,” Diederich says. “The pros consist of working with those you love and care about on a daily basis, with every win and loss shared by the team. The cons revolve around technology adoption and implementation, with the new generation dedicated to using technology to solving daily problems.”
Diederich started young, spending summers cleaning and sweeping the company’s shops. He then spent a summer interning in the accounting department. After gaining experience elsewhere, he came back as an assistant project manager.
“It’s my intention to continue to work my way up the Industrial Builders ladder,” says Diederich, who just recently transitioned into the director of business development position.
“This transition allows me to be an entrepreneur within a successful organization. Being given latitude to work with team members to apply the same ‘can do’ mentality to new opportunities has been my goal from the moment I got here.
“I believe this is significant because it’s a personal transition from learned skill and knowledge into natural talent. Relationship-building and community engagement are things I find passion in, and I look forward to growing Industrial Builders while accomplishing this transition.”
In his free time, Diederich’s activities include being a board member of the Economic Development Foundation of North Dakota, serving on the board of directors of YoungLife Fargo Moorhead and flying as a private pilot. He also owns Diederich Drone Services, a drone photo, video and mapping company.
Industrial Builders, Inc. | IndustrialBuilders.com