Governor Contacts Editor, Invites Magazine to Return
BISMARCK, N.D. Gov. John Hoeven
today sent the following letter to Chris Johns, editor in chief of
National Geographic Magazine, in response to an article in the
publications January profile of North Dakota:
January 14, 2008
Mr. Chris Johns
National Geographic Magazine
PO Box 98199
Washington, D.C. 20090-98199
Dear Mr. Johns:
The recent article about North Dakota in the
January 2008 issue of National Geographic was way off the mark. To give
the magazines readers a more accurate picture of our state, Ive asked
our Commerce Commissioner and Tourism Director to contact your editors
and invite you back to cover what you left out the fact that North
Dakota is a growing 21st Century state with a bright future.
What you left out is the fact that North
Dakota has a growing economy, well educated citizens, low crime, great
infrastructure and one of the cleanest environments in America. All
this adds up to a great quality of life. Our cities are growing, and
our rural areas are finding new ways to create jobs and opportunities
for our people.
For example, new ethanol and biodiesel
facilities are transforming rural communities like Richardton,
Underwood, Hankinson, Casselton, and Velva. Just a few years ago, North
Dakota produced less than 40 million gallons of ethanol a year. With
these new facilities, we will produce half a billion gallons. Your
article also makes mention of the moan of the wind on the prairie,
but that same wind is on its way to producing nearly 1000 megawatts of
clean renewable energy on commercial wind farms across North Dakota.
In addition, Dakota Growers Pasta, a native
North Dakota company, is now the third largest pasta manufacturer in
North America, and other value-added enterprises like it are helping
agriculture in North Dakota change and grow.
These are all small town, rural enterprises
that reflect the spirit and ingenuity we have in North Dakota. Your
article featured the small town of Mott, N.D., but failed to mention
that every fall it is a destination for pheasant hunters from around
the country and around the world. Its ironic that you represented this
town with a photo of an abandoned homestead, when a more revealing
image for your readers might have been a photo of sports fans lining
the highway for 18 miles last year to cheer on the local football team,
the Wildfire, on its way to the state championship games in Fargo.
Whether its tourism, agriculture, energy,
manufacturing or technology, North Dakota is moving forward. Were home
to innovative firms like Microsoft Business Solutions, a subsidiary of
Microsoft, which now employs 1,400 people at its Fargo campus. The
company is currently expanding and will add nearly 500 more employees
by 2010. Other companies, like Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing,
Goodrich, Cirrus and Aerosmith are working to manufacture technically
advanced components for the U.S. military and aviation industry.
As a consequence, weve created thousands of
new jobs and careers. Our research universities and Centers of
Excellence are creating the businesses and products of the future; our
manufacturing sector is one of only a handful in the country thats
expanding; and our energy sector is supplying the nation with clean,
efficient energy, from both renewable and traditional sources.
For all of these reasons, and more, North
Dakota is garnering national attention as a great place to live and
work. This year Forbes Magazine has ranked the state of North Dakota 9th among all states for Business and Careers. Among 180 cities nationwide, Bismarck ranked 2nd and Fargo 4th.
Most recently, the Beacon Hill Institute last month announced that
North Dakota ranked 4th among all states for competitiveness 1st in infrastructure and 4th in human resources.
There is certainly growth and opportunity in
North Dakota these days, but more importantly, there is a mood of
optimism across the land. At the same time, we are working hard to take
our efforts to the next level, and an article that showcases the
spirit, inventiveness and progress were making would certainly be in
order. I encourage you to take a broader look at our state and help us
convey to the world what North Dakotans already know: that North Dakota
is a great place in which to live, work, visit, study, have fun, and do