2013-04-04 / Front Page

NCFE Agronomy center hires Ibach, McNeal

By Terri Lang


Deb Ibach is the new bookkeeper at North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) Agronomy Center in Strasburg. Deb Ibach is the new bookkeeper at North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) Agronomy Center in Strasburg. Deb Ibach of Linton began working as a bookkeeper for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) Agronomy Center in Strasburg in February. Previous to this position, Ibach was the Linton Hospital Foundation Director and Prairie Rose Assisted Living Director for over two years.

“I really enjoyed that job and I will really miss the residents and the staff,” Ibach said. “This was an opportunity for me, and a change of pace.”

NCFEAgronomy Manager Greg Volk in Strasburg said they had a list of good applicants for the bookkeeping position which made it tough to choose the right individual.

“We were very impressed with Deb and her longtime career in business,” Volk said.

Ibach said the NCFE staff have been very welcoming and patient while they teach her about agronomy services and products as well as the computer system and software.


North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) Agronomist Bryan McNeal covers a large area. North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) Agronomist Bryan McNeal covers a large area. “Coming from the farm, I thought I knew a lot about chemicals, seeds and fertilizer,” she said. “I just did not know there was so much variety.”

Ibach said it has been interesting hearing the conversations between the agronomists and the farmers on the options available with agronomy.

“Agronomy is such a fine science, and farmers really work with their agronomists as it is so important that they apply the right product and rations,” Ibach said.

Having an agriculture background, Ibach feels, helps her have a better understanding of her job.

“I have always been ‘hands on’ in our farming operation and am an outdoors gal,” she said. “I help with fencing, bal- ing, combining and really like to be involved on the farm.”


Lenard and Barb Vetter have been using a surveillance camera system for the past seven years to monitor their livestock during calving season. Lenard and Barb Vetter have been using a surveillance camera system for the past seven years to monitor their livestock during calving season. Ibach is looking forward to her new job as she is anxious to see how the Agronomy center functions and how it all comes together.

Background and Family

Deb (Bernhardt) Ibach graduated from Linton High School in 1974. She received her Associate Degree in Applied Science from Bismarck Junior College in 1976. After graduating from college, she worked as a teller at Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan in Linton for nearly four years. Ibach then was a stay-home mom for over five years.

Previous to her Foundation and Assisted Living Director position, Ibach had 23 years with Rosenbluth, American Express and H&R Block, holding the positions of team leader, supervisor, account manager, assistant manager and manager.


Lenard Vetter said the calves this season have been very healthy. Lenard Vetter said the calves this season have been very healthy. Deb is married to Terry Ibach, and they farm north of Linton. Terry also works for Missouri Valley Ag in Hazelton. They have four grown children. Steve is married to Summer Weber, and they have two kids and live in Berthold. Jen is married to Brandon Schirado, and they have two kids and live in Beulah. Nick lives in Fargo with his wife, Misty. Their daughter, Becky, resides in Bismarck.

McNeal joins staff

North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) added Bryan McNeal to their agronomy team in December of 2012.


Vetters run 270 Red and Black Angus cows and have 230 baby calves as of March 26. The first calf was born on Feb. 10. Vetters run 270 Red and Black Angus cows and have 230 baby calves as of March 26. The first calf was born on Feb. 10. NCFE Sales Manager Lane Mielke from Ipswich, S.D., said he has been impressed with McNeal’s work ethic and his expertise in the field of agronomy.

“He has really fit in well with the NCFE family,” Mielke said. “Bryan has the same goal as NCFE—providing the best service and knowledge to customers in our industry.”

McNeal grew up in Rice, Minn., and graduated from Holdingford High School in 1997. He attended North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton for two years and received his degree in Business and Agricultural Sales. In 2002, he graduated from North Dakota State University in Fargo with a degree in Crop and Weed Science.

Following graduation, Mc- Neal worked for Monsanto as a research technician in Glyndon, Minn. Since 2003, he has worked as an agronomist for several businesses, including Farmers Elevator in Strasburg, Farmers Elevator in Linton, Farmers Union Oil in Hazelton and Alliance Ag of Linton.


Mama spends her first few days with her newborn calf on the warm, dry hay in the Vetter barns. Mama spends her first few days with her newborn calf on the warm, dry hay in the Vetter barns. McNeal will be working with customers in NCFE’s entire region, but primarily covers the Herreid and Pollock areas and is stationed in Pollock.

He said there have been many changes and new developments in agronomy even from the short time he has been an agronomist.

“There is just a whole lot more technology available,” McNeal said. “Agronomy has become a lot more complex and everything has to be a lot more precise.”

McNeal said soil sample tissue sampling is essential, along with choosing the proper crop variety for the specific soil type.

He said he really enjoys his job as he prefers not to sit in an office all day.

“I like being outdoors and like to drive around and meet new people,” he said.

McNeal said the NCFE staff has been excellent to work with and very supportive.

“They are a good staff, very friendly, and offer help whenever I have needed it,” McNeal added.

PriortomovingtoStrasburg two years ago, McNeal lived in Temvik and Linton. His parents still reside in Rice, and he has one brother living in Washington State.

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