Director Of NDAWN Daryl Ritchison Will Speak At 70th Annual National Hard Spring Wheat Show

Daryl Ritchison, North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) Director will be speaking at 8:15 a.m., Feb. 1 at the 70th Annual National Hard Spring Wheat Show at the Grand Williston Hotel & Conference Center, 3601 2nd Ave. W. Williston.

NDAWN is a network of 176 weather stations in North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota with an additional 12 rain gauge only sites.

Ritchison has worked for NDAWN at North Dakota State University for nine years and has served six of them as the director or interim director. Prior to that, Ritchison was a television meteorologist for 25 years.

"I've loved the weather since I was four or five years old," Ritchison remembers. "I'm 60 now, so I've been fascinated by the weather now for 55 years. People ask if I have a hobby and the answer is 'Yes, weather!'. Even during my downtime I'm doing research. I just find it fascinating."

Ritchison grew up in an agricultural community in southern Minnesota where the majority of his friends were farm kids. During the summer, he would be hired to work on their farms.

"I have a lot of respect for agriculture," he stated, as farmers have to work with weather conditions and those conditions play such a vital part in farmers' livelihoods.

In addition to being trained as a meteorologist, Ritchison has an MBA, so when the chance to work with NDAWN presented itself, it seemed to be a perfect opportunity for him to apply both areas of experience.

"Being able to focus on agricultural weather is perfect. I really have the best job in the world!" he said.

NDAWN's focus is weather/risk management; using the weather information they have, NDAWN can assist farmers in heading off probable disease and insects. For example, some types of weather conditions are ideal for fungus to grow and farmers could use this information to utilize fungicide and get a better yield.

While Ritchison will spend a portion of his presentation discussing how NDAWN can help farmers increase their profits, the majority of the presentation will be the projected forecast for the spring and summer of 2023.

The 70th Annual National Hard Spring Wheat Show is kicking off with an Appreciation Breakfast at 7 a.m. CT, with speakers starting at 8 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Grand Williston Hotel & Conference Center, 3601 2nd Ave. W., Williston. For more information, visit


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