Alan Zuk, associate professor of plant sciences, and NDSU alumnus James Steinberger recently organized an effort to deliver a large supply of dry edible beans to the St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
The beans, including navy, pinto, red, black, pink, light red kidney, dark red kidney and great northern, were produced and harvested as part of the dry edible bean breeding research by associate professor Juan Osorno.
Steinberger, BS ’12, crop and weed sciences, lives near Rosebud and volunteers in the St. Francis Mission Lakota Dental Clinic. He contacted mission president Rev. James Kubicki and chief operating officer Rodney Bordeaux to coordinate the delivery. Zuk worked with Osorno to obtain and transport the beans.
More than 6,500 pounds of beans were loaded into a large truck, which Zuk drove to the mission. Bordeaux said that the beans will be distributed through Tribal Social Services, which has a distribution network in the four counties of the reservation. He said more than 25,000 people in 20 different communities would benefit from the large donation.
During his undergraduate studies, Steinberger worked with Zuk and other NDSU students to deliver produce and crops from research plots to emergency food pantries, food banks, churches, reservations and schools in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana.
Bordeaux and Kubicki praised Zuk and Steinberger for their efforts and presented Zuk an honorary Star Quilt for his work. “The produce and beans are available every year after research is completed, and I am happy to make deliveries to those in need,” he said.
Each fall, Zuk typically delivers about 10,000 pounds of dry beans and close to 20,000 pounds of potatoes from associate professor Susie Thompson’s potato research project.
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.