Sending care from North Dakota

Minnkota employees assembled care packages this September for plant workers serving on the border in the North Dakota National Guard.


Kaylee Cusack


September 21, 2022

Minnkota’s Dan Imdieke (Plant Fuel yard operator) and Jordan Ternes (Plant Operations shift supervisor) share more in common than spending their work days at the Milton R. Young Station near Center, N.D. The two are also active members of the North Dakota National Guard, 957th Engineer Company, currently marking nearly a year of service at the Texas-Mexico border.

As much as they miss being away from home, their Minnkota colleagues are missing having them around the plant just as much. To show how much Imdieke and Ternes are missed, as well as the heap of gratitude for their service, the Young Station’s employee events committee developed a plan: some good old-fashioned care packages.

When the soldiers were asked what kind of items would help them through their time away, they were pretty clear in their response.

“The only request I received from them was original North Dakota foods,” said Human Resource Coordinator Laura Fleckenstein.

Care package donations were collected in Minnkota's facilities in Grand Forks and Center.

Employees in Grand Forks and Center answered the call, gathering a delicious assortment of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels (Velva, N.D.), Colorado Jack popcorn (Devils Lake, N.D.), Giants sunflower seeds (Wahpeton, N.D.), Widman’s “Chippers” chocolates (Grand Forks, N.D.), and many other local favorites.

As if the stash weren’t “sweet” enough, Fleckenstein and Becky Berg, Minnkota administrative supervisor, reached out to their children’s teachers and requested that the classes draw some pictures for the soldiers. The students were happy to participate, creating patriotic thank-yous to add to the care packages.

Center-Stanton fifth graders display drawings to be included in Minnkota care packages.

Berg’s son is in the second grade. In the fifth grade class, there are an incredible six students who have a parent who works at the Young Station, including Fleckenstein’s son, Tanner. “It’s a whole class of Minnkota kids!” she said.

Imdieke and Ternes received their care packages less than a week later, and both were thankful for the little piece of home that showed up in the mail. The two hope to be back in North Dakota in November, when they can celebrate gratitude with their family and friends in person.

Dan Imdieke displays the care package he received from fellow Minnkota employees.
Jordan Ternes shows off his box of goodies from North Dakota.

Thank you for your service, Dan and Jordan!

MAIN IMAGE: The local second grade class holds notes of support for the soldiers.


Get Our Monthly Newsletter, Directly Into Your Inbox!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form