The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Three — The Globalization of Fargo, North Dakota by Adam Wilson

The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Three — The Globalization of Fargo, North Dakota by Adam Wilson

The world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and the Fargo-Moorhead area is no exception. The metro area of Fargo has grown to over 200,000 in recent years and this influx of people has led to a global presence in demographics which is being seen through restaurants, small businesses, and education. Fargo’s early immigrants were of white Scandinavian European origin but since 1990 the foreign born population has more than doubled. This new population includes one in three of these foreign born immigrants arriving from Bosnia and significant numbers of Vietnamese and Somali populations have also increased since turn of the decade.

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The arrival of new immigrants from such countries, have impacted the metro area in many ways. A major and unique asset to new immigrants in Fargo is the Immigration Development Center which states its purpose as “to increase the understanding of diversity in Fargo-Moorhead and provide assistance for ethnically diverse populations to get involved in the community.” The center has raised enough money and interest to fill 12 proposed business locations. The “Global Market” which is the projects name has 28 applications by new Americans to take part in the 12 proposed businesses. There are currently around five to six local businesses owned and operated by Bosnian immigrants one of which is the Bosnian House Restaurant. The development center has sighted access to schools, jobs and low crime rates as some of the incentives that attract and keep immigrants in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The globalization of the agriculture industry has been one of the major factors for North Dakota’s increased international trading. Some companies located in Fargo that do international business include: Bueling Incorporated-Germany, Dakota Export LLC-Finland and Russia, and Red River Commodities- Spain, Turkey and Israel. These companies play roles in exporting machinery and profitable crops grown in the state. Exporting plants such as these also on average pay their employees up to 18% more than non-exporting plants. These jobs are increasing in the state and especially in Fargo and they provide a good example of the increase role that globalization plays even in relatively small Midwest’s economies. It also remains to be seen whether the increased exports of North Dakotan multinational companies will start to play larger roles in the cultural make up of business hubs such as Fargo.

The advancements made in communication technology means that our globe is getting smaller and more intimate every day. Cities such as Fargo are at cusp of learning how to integrate a more global society into their already prospering economy. By attracting global professionals in the fields of medicine and education Fargo also has a number of well trained foreign born professionals that have essential roles at the metros colleges and hospitals. As the city continues to grow the diversity of its culture will develop and hopefully become an attractive hub for diverse businesses and restaurants.

For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see

For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see

The North Star Project 2013-2014 School Year Reports: The Middle Ground Journal’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We gratefully acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our K-12 outreach program. We also warmly welcome Duluth East High School and Dodge Middle School to our collaborative program. 

Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

Having re-tooled and re-designed the collaborative program, we are drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This school year The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world.  We will post their brief dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.

Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, 2013-2014 School Year

(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 7, Fall, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.


Filed under North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang

15 responses to “The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Three — The Globalization of Fargo, North Dakota by Adam Wilson

  1. It will be really interesting to watch how this city changes in the course of my lifetime. I find studying trends in populations and settlement really interesting, like how for a while “everyone wanted to live in a small town” and other times “everyone wants to live in an urban area.” It’s also interesting to see what the effect on the local universities around Fargo play into what type of people go settle down there.

  2. Emily Schiro

    This was interesting to read about how globalized Fargo is becoming because I had no idea. Especially since there is such a big stereotype about the people in Fargo with the northern accents and how it would be a mostly white area. This article will help open the eyes of people.

  3. Kyle Stepka

    The information you told in this article was very eye opening. I didn’t know anything about this before I read your article. It really changes my look at the town of Fargo and the people in the town. Very eye opening and very good article.

  4. Zach Friederichs

    It’s always hard to think about areas that are so close to home as being part of the globalization process. When I hear the word “globalization” I generally think of places other than the U.S. This was a good article and helped me realize that even areas like North Dakota are becoming more and more diverse.

  5. Mackenzie Sherrill

    It caught me off guard that the Fargo and surrounding areas are expanding at such a high rate. Part of my surprise comes due to the fact that this area is relatively far from other large, neighboring towns and also because it has a very flat landscape. I believe a lot of the reason why people are immigrating here has to do with all the local colleges that are attracting young people.

  6. Ashley Svihel

    I thought it was interesting how this article went with exactly what we are learning in World History at the moment, the start of globalization. It is cool to see a real life example that is somewhat close to home because it makes it easier to see the connections from history to now. I enjoy seeing new restaurants and ways to make food because it makes going out to eat an adventure from normal routines.

  7. Evangelista Chicheko

    I enjoyed reading this article as it helped me understand the stereotypes that have been there about people from Fargo and the North. It also highlighted how Fargo has grown into becoming such a globalized town. Thanks for sharing!

  8. daniela rojas

    It is hard to understand that globalization is happening everywhere. No one really expects it to happen in there towns, but it was nice seeing how Fargo is growing and is starting to be a more diverse city. Since now this process is going to start in many places similar to Fargo.

  9. Kendra Johnson

    I have relatives that live in North Dakota and I’ve only ever seen them as agricultural and thought they’d always be that way. It’s different for me to hear about a place so close to home as just now “globalizing.” It’s just another reminder that the world is a constantly changing place and, in my opinion at least, always be.

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  11. Nicholas Burski

    I have had a couple friends and cousins who have gone to college in the Fargo-Moorhead area over the last decade or so. They have also talked about the crazy amounts of people who moved into the area just over the approximately 4 years that they lived there for school. From what they have all told me, you can see the increasing diversity as far as what food places they would recommend to visit. My cousin who was there in the early 2000’s said a pizza place but now my friend who lives there currently always tells me about his favorite Vietnamese place to eat. Increasing diversity in a place that from the outside seems to be 100% white people is great and hopefully the area booms and integrates as many of the interesting cultures as possible into the city! Thank you for the article!

  12. Adam,

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve spent a great deal of time in Fargo over the past three years visiting my boyfriend who attended NDSU. My favorite thing about the city was definitely the food. Fargo has so many good restaurants, and it wasn’t until about a year ago that we began to discover more of the “ethnic” restaurants and markets. Once we found these markets, I would stock up on ingredients to bring back to Duluth, as Duluth is not as ethnically diverse and therefore does not really have these types of markets.
    I’ve always wondered why the Fargo/Moorhead area has been growing & diversifying in the way it has been, so thank you for your insights.
    Do you see this type of expansion happening in an area like Duluth any time soon?


  13. Angela Pecarina

    I first went to Fargo for the first time last March. Never being there but driven through the state, I was expecting nothing to exciting really. However, I was wrong once I got into the city. There was a lot more than I thought. Even the mall is pretty nice. This article reminded me of my Intro to Poli Sci class last year when I was doing a project and learned how many immigrants run high end jobs. Such as being our top lawyers, doctors, company owners, and business men and women. The fact that Fargo is becoming more diverse with leaders and success is a sign our country is too. When pointing fingers at immigration, many people forget that some of the people at the top, are in fact immigrants who made their way through hard work.

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