Agriculture is still the number one industry in North Dakota.
Having said that, HUNGER is also a major problem in our state.
That's why the North Dakota State Fair has partnered with the Great Plains Food Bank for the first ever food drive at the fair.
Jennifer Thorgramson is standing by to tell us about the unique display being built entirely out of cans.
I'm standing in the North Dakota State Fair Atrium with what is quickly becoming a combine made from 15,000 cans.
As you can see, most of the combine is green and those green labeled cans didn't arrive until after 3:00 today so the folks with CANstruction are really crusing.
Gaylen and I have been out here throughout the day visiting with the combine architects --- there is quite an art that goes along with their mission of fighting hunger.
"We start with an idea."
A BIG idea. Say, the size of a combine?
From the corn stalks early on in construction, to the can-combine that will take center stage in the North Dakota State Fair Center Atrium, the IDEA is much bigger than the art.
(Chakshu Mehta, CANstruction Director of Operations) "I enjoy CANstruction personally because our organization has raised 21 million cans of food for local food banks. It's great to work with volunteer who are interested in our organization wanting to do something good for the community and also wanting to provide some sort of public art for the community."
(Jennifer Hubrig, NDSF Marketing Director) "It's a very different center piece and it's also something that we're using to speak about how important agriculture is in North Dakota, exactly where your food comes from and also to draw attention to the needs of those who are going hungry in North Dakota."
It's a mission close to CANstruction builders.
The non-profit organization has been using cylinders instead of bricks since 1992, donating all of their building materials - in this case - to the Great Plains Food Bank.
(Chakshu Mehta, CANstruction Director of Operations) "If you're doing a competition you maybe start with a theme or an idea and we'll create a 3D rendering out of it. Then we'll slice it into the can size that we're dealing with, sometimes it's tuna cans or 16 ounce cans, then we'll decide which colors we want to use. There's a whole art to it. It requires a lot of construction ability and a lot engineering and physics. We'll create a design, create a rendering and then have that rendering come to life."
Three hours into the building process, that rendering WAS INDEED coming to life.
A big idea for a big impact in the fight against hunger.
The 15,000 cans that make up the combine were donated by the North Dakota State Fair, BNSF Railway and Nash Finch.
After the fair they will be donated to the Great Plains Food Bank --- and you can help too!
Bring a canned good to the admission gate on Monday and you'll get a dollar off your gate pass for the day.
With an average of 28,000 people through the gate Monday - it could potentially make a big impact.
Make sure you bring a can and stop in and see the combine --- it will be complete by then.
And believe it or not, the North Dakota State Fair is ALMOST close enough to be included in the seven day forecast!