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Dry Beans Promoted as part of N.D.
June 19, 2006












Jane Edwards, North Dakota State University Extension nutrition and health specialist, presented a poster on the health benefits of dry edible beans at the 2006 Priester National Extension Health Conference, held this spring in Louisville, Ky.

The conference includes workshops, presentations, roundtable discussions and poster sessions to highlight health-related programs and research that Extension professionals and the USDA have developed and implemented.

Edwards poster, Beans: Agriculture to Health, provided data on the results of NDSU Extension programs delivered across North Dakota in 2004-05 on dry edible beans and their health benefits.

North Dakota is the nations leading producer of dry edible beans, a crop that can help control weight and lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer. Beans also are an excellent source of protein.

The poster is part of a series of educational materials NDSU Extension developed under the heading of Agriculture to Health.  The inspiration for this series was a presentation that Gerald Combs, director of the
USDA Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D., made at the Governors Healthy North Dakota summit several years ago. Combs proposed the Dakota Diet concept (see graphic). Its based on promoting the health benefits of foods produced in North Dakota and the northern Great Plains, when people consume those foods in the pattern suggestions by the USDAs Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Agriculture to Health series includes educational materials on the health benefits of flaxseed, dry beans and healthy oils. NDSU Extension plans to add material to the series focused on the relationship of whole grains to health.

This has been a grand opportunity for me to meet and work with a wide variety of folks in the state and region and to promote and reinforce the agriculture to health connection, Edwards says.

Northarvest Bean Growers Association supported Edwards poster presentation by supplying copies of NDSU Extension educational materials (CDs) on dry edible beans, bean cookbooks and a number of gift baskets with bean products for door prizes.

For more information about the Agriculture to Health series and related links (including  Beans: Agriculture to Health), visit the NDSU Extension Agriculture to Health Web site at


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