Businesses and farmers raise money to bus Fertile community to cheer on football team at state title game

What started as a single bus grew to five charter buses.

Businesses and farmers raise money to bus Fertile community to cheer on football team at state title game
A 'We Believe' poster hangs in the door of a business on Main Street.

FERTILE - The residents of Fertile lined the streets Friday morning as two buses carrying the Fertile-Beltrami Falcons left for the state title came for the first time in school history.

Dick Braun/Riding Fan Bus/Former Coach 12:15 "It's a moment they can treasure the rest of their lives," said former coach Dick Braun.

More buses will follow them to the Twin Cities.


"It means a lot to the whole town," said Jodie Strem, the co-owner of Fertile Oil Company.

So the town garbage man rounded up 5 charter buses.

"Its' been a little rough around here, I think the town needed a shot in the arm," said Nathan Stuhaug.

He's referring to the lost of Jude Olson who was killed in an ATV accident last year. He would have been a senior on this year's team. As one person said, "they are all our kids.

"We get to see these kids everyday, ever since they asked their parents for candy in the candy aisle," said Travid Jensrud, the co-owner of JT's Station.

For the past two playoff games a single charter bus has bused loyal fans.

Now for the most historic football game in town history, a sea of Falcon red is headed south.

"We want them to look in the stands and see us, know we are there for them," said Strem.


Local businesses and farmers donated $25,000 to make sure every fan who wanted to make the 270 mile trip, 4 1/2 hour drive, had a free ride to U.S. Bank Stadium.

"To give people who might not have the chance to go, they don't want to drive or don't have the means to," said Brad Campbell, the owner of Wonderful Bees.

274 fans have a free seat on the bus to watch the Falcons go for perfection, 14-0.

"We are coming down full force," said Strem.

A loyal community who believes in their young men.

"Win, lose or draw, who cares, we got there, the kids have achieved something, and they can't take it away," said Braun.

"Win or lose, they did it," said Strem.

The community will hold a pep rally for the Falcons at the school gymnasium when they return home around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.


For those who are left in town they will watch the game on a big screen that will be setup at the Fertile Community Center.

Thanks to donations free snacks will be provided.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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