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NorthStar News

A Big Star in a Small Community

Mike Erdman of Willow City, North Dakota, has been deemed one of NorthStar Genetics’ Community Stars, awarding him $1,000 to give to a local charity of his choice, to help him further make a difference in his community. Erdman will be donating his award to the Willow City Fire Department.

NorthStar Genetics’ Community Star winners are selected based on nominations of exceptional community members who have gone above and beyond to help their community or people around them thrive.

Being a member of a small rural community can often mean donating your time and energy to helping create a liveable environment for everyone around. Things that many urban dwellers might take for granted, like a fire department, need to be managed by those in the community who are willing to step up and take part.

Erdman has spent his life taking part in order to help his community be a better place for those around him.

He says, “I’ve grown up in this community. It’s a nice place to live and raise a family.”

Erdman is first and foremost a farmer, but he has also donated a lot of his extra time as a director of the Willow City Fire Department for the last eight years, and member for the last five years. Being a member of the fire department means he’s willing to put his life on the line to fight a fire in his community. He has put time into training and upkeeping his skills to be ready when the call comes.

Erdman has also been a member of the Turtle Mountain Soil Conservation District for 15 years, giving his time to helping their mission of sustainable land and water stewardship practices for his community and the surrounding area.

On top of all of this, Erdman is on the council of his local Lutheran church and an elder of the congregation. With everything we talked about, it wasn’t until his church was mentioned that he lit up and couldn’t say enough.

“We’re a little country church out here, about seven miles west of Willow. We don’t have too many members, so we all have our jobs. It seems like once you get elected [as elder], you can’t really leave,” Erdman says, laughing. “It’s fun. I have grown up in the church, and it’s pretty near and dear to most of us out here.”

As Erdman has watched the communities around him get smaller, it solidifies the reason why everyone needs to play a part and participate.

“Some of our communities have gotten pretty sparse, as far as farmsteads that people live on, but right in our community, we still have quite a few,” Erdman says excitedly. He explains how there are young families and new farmers taking over in his community, which makes it easier for him to look forward to retirement.

In a small community, for people who have put so much of themselves into it, it is so important to know it will be carried on, and people will care for it in the future. Erdman has helped create a community that people are happy to be a part of, and there is nothing more rewarding.

NorthStar Genetics is a trusted seed company because of their dedication to local growers and conditions, providing seed that is grown and conditioned locally on the same land as the farmers who grow it. By testing hundreds of varieties, they are able to designate them to specific areas based on local conditions and be confident that they will perform. NorthStar Genetics proudly serves four states, offering the highest quality, locally proven genetics available.