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Photo takers on North Dakota farms identified as workers for the government

Stock image / Pixabay

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has identified the persons that have been taking photos and samples of grain without proper identification on farms across the state.

“After following up on a few leads, we’ve discovered that the wheat samplers are contract employees from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture on behalf of the National Agricultural Statistics Service,” said state agriculture commissioner Doug Goehring. “The samples will be submitted to North Dakota State University for wheat quality analysis.”

Goehring had said earlier he believed it might be activists that are targeting agriculture.

He said with their recent activities “ there is heightened awareness about who is walking around in fields. Agriculture has been targeted, feels targeted and continues to be targeted.”

Some of the high-profile activities have included undercover workers for animal rights groups working in livestock operations.

“We’ve asked the contract employees to be sure to identify themselves with an ID and the reason for the samples," Goehring said.

The contract employees for NASDA, on behalf of NASS, will be in the state a bit longer to collect soybean and corn samples.