BISMARCK – The longtime chairman of the North Dakota Credit Review Board (CRB), Elwood “Woody” Barth, is retiring after 22 years of service.

“Woody Barth has made an invaluable contribution to North Dakota's agricultural industry,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, who presented Barth with a plaque Wednesday, during the CRB's regular meeting. “Starting in the dark days of the farm crisis of the 1980s and 90s, Woody's sound leadership of the Credit Review Board helped establish policies that provided thousands of producers with mediation and negotiation services.”

First appointed to the Credit Review Board in 1989 by then-Commissioner of Agriculture Sarah Vogel, Barth has been reappointed 10 times.

Barth lives and farms near Solen, where he and his wife, Carmel, operate an Angus/Simmental cow/calf operation and grow no-till corn.

The vice-president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, Barth is one of two North Dakota members of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

The CRB was created to provide assistance to financially distressed farmers. It formulates policy for the North Dakota Agricultural Mediation Service and to make recommendations to the Industrial Commission regarding the farm loan programs at the Bank of North Dakota. The Credit Review Board serves in an advisory capacity for the North Dakota Adult Farm Management Program. Membership includes two members with experience as a director of a financial institution and four members with experience in farming. The members are appointed by the governor, the agriculture commissioner and the attorney general.