When we were first beginning the farm, my husband [Marv] was activated twice for the North Dakota National Guard. When he was gone in 2006 and 2007, in addition to working full-time, I managed the farm. That meant planting potatoes in the rain, harvesting produce … and taking produce to our small farmers market in Carpio, N.D.

When Marv got back from the National Guard in 2007, we went to the Downtown Association in Minot and asked if they would support us in opening a farmers market in Minot. We started small … We started with about six vendors, and now we’re up to about 30 vendors.

It may sound kind of crazy, but picking weeds is a very calming experience. And then also picking the fruit—finding all the goodies of the garden is one of my favorite things.

Living in a small town and working with other produce farmers, you realize how the hard work is embraced and that there is a passion for what we do. We will go beyond the expected to make our customers happy. I see that in community banking too. … The two businesses are part of the backbone of rural America.

—Ben Kopnick