Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Help Wanted: The North Dakota Miracle

The nation’s unemployment rate has been hovering at nearly nine percent since 2009. But not every state is suffering an employment crisis. In the remote, windswept state of North Dakota, job fairs often bustle with more recruiters than potential workers. The North Dakota unemployment rate hasn’t risen above five percent since 1987. In the state's oil country, unemployment hovers at around two percent, and pretty much everyone who wants a job—as long as they are old enough and not incarcerated—is employed...

Debora on The Chris Berg Show

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 NFPW Awards Press Release

Dr. Debora Dragseth, professor of business at Dickinson State University, recently won three national awards for her writing from the National Federation of Press Women, a nationwide organization of professional communicators that has counted among its members such luminaries as Eleanor Roosevelt and former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. In order to be considered for a national award, a participant must have placed first in the author’s home state competition.

Dragseth’s three national award pieces are as follows:

Guys gone wild: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally,” first place winner in the category “Writing for the Web.”

Originally written for “NewGeography,” this piece elaborates on the demographic and cultural phenomenon of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the sleepy town of Sturgis, S.D.

Dakota daughter makes good happen in the ‘City of Angels,”’ second place winner in the category “Personality Profile.”

Written for “Today’s Giving Magazine,” this piece highlights Carla Christofferson, owner of the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks. Christofferson, a native of Tolna, N.D., is a woman who continues to move forward while generously giving back to people.

Redefining ‘Niners’: Football on the Great Plains,” third place winner in the category “Writing for the Web” This piece, also written for “New Geography,” explores one of the most isolated places in the lower 48 states: Harding County in South Dakota. Often referred to as the “middle of nowhere,” it is one of the best places in America in which to grow up, according to a local football team.

This is the second time in three years Dragseth has taken national first place honors. She will be attending the NFPW conference in September in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to receive her awards. In addition to her doctorate, Dragseth also has a degree in English literature. “Writing allows me to diversify my interest, utilize both of my degrees, meet fascinating people and have the honor of telling their stories in ways that touch others,” said Dragseth.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Break In Siberia: The Yenisei River

As it enters the 21st Century, North Dakota is enjoying the windfalls of an unprecedented oil boom, the largest oil discovery in the world in the past 30 years. While the rest of the country struggles with high unemployment and lethargic economic growth, North Dakota has a $1 billion budget surplus and the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.7 percent. However, North Dakota’s economic future remains uncertain. While in Russia, I presented the issue of outmigration of youth from rural areas and the similarities and differences between North Dakota and rural Siberia.

Siberia is vast. At 5.2 million square miles, it covers about one-third of northern Asia, makes up an astounding one-twelfth of the land mass of the entire earth and boasts nine different time zones. However, it is not a country (it’s shocking how many people think that it is) and it is not a state or province. It has no formal boundaries and it can best be described as a region, something like the “Midwest” or the “corn belt.” In fact, when the Russian czars started developing this area in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they called it “the wild east.”

Links can be drawn between North Dakota and Siberia. Cold weather is an obvious one. Although the northern tier of Siberia is perma-frost, at SibSAU University, located in the charming 400-year-old city of Krasnoyarsk, the weather is similar to North Dakota: frigid winters and blasting hot summers. Siberia has four main rivers, and the largest of them is the Yenisei River which flows through the center of Krasnoyarsk. All four rivers flow from south to north, causing problematic flooding as they thaw in the south while still frozen at their mouths. This will sound familiar to the people filling sandbags this spring, and last spring, and the spring before along North Dakota’s Red River.

Like North Dakotans, the people of Siberia hope to keep their bright, entrepreneurial young people home. College graduates, however, tend to want to go to bigger more cosmopolitan places. Again, echoes of North Dakota.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The harvest of this year’s U.S. corn crop is about 90 percent complete, and it is going to be a bin-buster. If it surpasses 2009's astonishing 13.1 billion bushels, it could become the largest in U.S. history. American farmers are growing more corn today than at any time in the past, and the trend is accelerating. The last five years have brought us five of the largest corn crops ever. Where to store the stuff is becoming an issue: When the bins and elevators are full, the corn is simply piled on the ground. Bankers are saying that we are experiencing the best farming environment in decades.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Dragseth contributes to CNN

True tales from work: I fell into this career but I love it

Read the entire article here.