About North Dakota
At President Thomas Jefferson’s behest, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark applied their exploration expertise in 1804 to the geography that would later become North Dakota. They charted their path north along the Missouri River with the help of local Native American guides. Today visitors can still follow in their footsteps along the Lewis and Clark Trail, which stretches from Washington, D.C., to Washington State and passes through North Dakota’s capital, Bismarck.
This historic expedition linked the region to the growing United States. In 1861, President James Buchanan formed the Dakota Territory, which included today’s states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. On Nov. 2, 1889, North Dakota was admitted to the Union – the same day as South Dakota. President Benjamin Harrison didn’t reveal which state’s proclamation he signed first, but alphabetical order positions North Dakota as the 39th state (and South Dakota the 40th).
It’s also the adopted home of President Theodore Roosevelt, who came to the land to hunt and stayed to ranch. His experience in North Dakota shaped his outlook on land and resource conservation, and today the state honors his memory in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which hugs a good portion of the state’s western edge.
Since before its statehood, North Dakota has been land hospitable to ranching and farming, and today it is the United States’ largest producer of flaxseed, canola, durum wheat, spring wheat, dry edible beans, honey, lentils, sunflowers, barley and oats. Beef, dairy cattle and hogs are also important to its agricultural economy.
While agriculture is important to North Dakota’s economy and many North Dakotans way of life, the state is working to grow its energy industry, which has experienced a tremendous boom over the last decade. North Dakota is fourth in the nation in oil production and ninth in wind-generated electricity. It’s also home to an emerging high-technology sector.
As a North Dakota native, Senator Hoeven is proud to represent his state, with its impressive frontier history, awe-inspiring vistas, and an innovative economy that brims with promise for the future. North Dakota’s economy is arguably the strongest in its history, and it serves as an example to our nation as it works to bolster its own economic growth and security.