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Dave Olson, Published June 15 2012

TRADE TALK: Healthier communities goal of walk

Workers at the Arthur Companies, a collection of agribusinesses with headquarters in Arthur, N.D., are inviting community members in their business locations – Arthur and Harvey, N.D. – to join them in a Wellness Walk starting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The goal of the walk is to promote healthier communities.

The walk will also cap a month of activities for Arthur Companies employees, who challenged themselves to exercise for 30 minutes a day, four days a week as part of an ongoing wellness program begun in 2008.

“When we started the program, my thinking was if we can be healthier, we could possibly reduce our health costs and premiums,” said Rick Burgum, Arthur Companies president and CEO.

“I also believed that when someone is healthy, they are more satisfied with work and life, and I wanted that for our employees,” he said.

The program is paying off, say Burgum and Nancy Vogeltanz-Holm, director of the University of North Dakota’s Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, which partnered with the company on its wellness effort.

Arthur Companies employees are showing improved health behaviors and decreased rates of hypertension, they say.

No Sonic boon, yet

Of the businesses area residents would like to see come to Fargo-Moorhead, few garner as much interest as Sonic and Trader Joe’s.

Unfortunately for their fans, neither company appears headed here anytime soon.

A spokeswoman for Sonic restaurants said they are always looking for someone to set up a franchise in this area, but it has yet to happen.

The Trader Joe’s website lists 21 locations where stores will soon be opening.

Fargo is not on the list and a spokeswoman for the company said there are no future plans for one in this area.

Minnesota has six existing Trader Joe’s locations, most of them in the Twin Cities.

Biotech backslap

Aldevron, a Fargo biotech company that is a leading provider of plasmid DNA, protein and antibody services, has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in Industry” by The Scientist Magazine.

“This is a nice honor. We strive to have a positive and supportive work environment, which is strengthened by hiring employees who are also aligned with our company values and commitment to quality,” said Michael Chambers, Aldevron CEO.

In its June issue, The Scientist listed Aldevron among the best based on an annual survey that uses anonymous employee surveys, and assessments in key areas such as management, integrity, communication and job satisfaction.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555