Pride of Dakota Enrolls 500TH Member Company

BISMARCK – Pride of Dakota, the flagship marketing program of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, recently passed a major milestone, when The Master's Hand, owned and operated by Sam Coleman, Mandan, became its 500th member company.

“The hard work of member companies; the efforts of our business development staff, and the patronage of thousands of loyal customers have made Pride of the Dakota the successful and popular marketing program it is today,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

Pride of Dakota was created in 1985 by then-Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Jones after he learned how state-sponsored "brand" programs worked elsewhere. Jones gathered a small group of North Dakota businesses leaders and NDDA's marketing staff to create an identifiable state "brand" that would designate products as made in North Dakota.

A Bismarck advertising agency came up with the name "Pride of Dakota," which was officially launched with about 20 member companies.

“Today, our 500 member companies range in size from large companies with more than 100 employees to "mom-and-pop" and owner-operator businesses,” Goehring said.

Pride of Dakota provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Holiday Showcases. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. Pride of Dakota is administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture business development division.

The program's next upcoming events include the four Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcases: Nov. 5-6, in Grand Forks; Nov. 12-13, in Minot; Nov. 18-20, in Fargo, and Dec. 2-4 in Bismarck.