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Farmers Union may move office to Bismarck

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - The state office of North Dakota Farmers Union could move to the Bismarck-Mandan area if the membership approves a unanimous recommendation passed Tuesday by the board of directors.

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - The state office of North Dakota Farmers Union could move to the Bismarck-Mandan area if the membership approves a unanimous recommendation passed Tuesday by the board of directors.

NDFU President Robert Carlson, in a telephone interview Wednesday, said the recommendation will be submitted to members during their annual meeting in Williston.

The vote on whether to relocate from Jamestown will probably be held Dec. 8, he said.

"It will be in the long-term interest of the office and insurance company to be in the capital," Carlson said. "It's centrally located for our members."

In addition to the state offices of Farmers Union, the move would include Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Co. and National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Co.

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He emphasized the proposal has to be approved by the membership.

Carlson said there are several reasons why the move to the capital would be a benefit, including more convenient access to state agencies and political leaders.

However, the central location is one of the most attractive aspects of the proposed move.

"We have more active members outside the (Red River) Valley. Most of our active membership is in the central and western part of the state," Carlson said.

No decisions have been made regarding the future of the more than 80 employees who would be affected by the decision, he said, or what would be done with the current headquarters building.

"That will be the most difficult part for the employees. We'll have to put together a plan that will treat the employees fairly," Carlson said.

He said if the membership does approve the move, it probably won't take place until some time during the first half of 2008.

NDFU has been in Jamestown since 1927.

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Maack is a writer for the Jamestown Sun, a Forum Communications newspaper

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