Red River Valley Water Supply Project

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It’s no surprise that Jay Anderson was elected to represent Ransom County on the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District Board. Water and agriculture have weaved throughout his life in several ways.

Jay AHe served on the Ransom-Sargent Rural Water Board from 1994 to 2006. In 1994, he helped start the Central area of the Southeast Water Users District. He currently serves as a Director on the Southeast Water Users Board and is also a past President. Through his involvement in rural water boards, he attended several water conferences. When an outgoing Garrison Diversion Board Member approached him about running for a seat, Jay thought he would give it a try. He had become familiar with Garrison Diversion through the Municipal, Rural, and Industrial (MR&I) water funding program. He was elected to the Garrison Diversion Board in 2013 and is currently the First Vice Chairman and a member of the Red River Valley Committee. In 2020, Jay received the prestigious Water Wheel Award at the North Dakota Water Users Convention. His devotion to the water industry in North Dakota certainly has not gone unnoticed.

Jay says Ransom County has benefited in many ways through its participation in the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District. He cites the Dead Colt Creek Recreation Area southeast of Lisbon, North Dakota, as a prime example. Garrison Diversion has provided Matching Recreation Grants to improve the Dead Colt Creek Reservoir area with boat ramps, parking, bathhouses, and camping facilities in Ransom County. The Water Resource District in Ransom County has also received grant funding from Garrison Diversion.

The RRVWSP is another initiative that could benefit Ransom County, as the drought mitigation project would provide for future water needs for cities, rural water systems, and industrial needs. “I believe the long-range economic impact the Red River Valley Water Supply Project will have on the State of North Dakota is so immense, that I don’t think we fully grasp how important it will be to our future,” says Jay.

He says the City of Lisbon and Southeast Water Users are forward-thinking groups, and they can see the future need for water from the RRVWSP. “Right now, the cost to each user will ultimately determine whether everyone can participate. It comes down to dollars and cents,” he says.

As the Senior Vice President of BankNorth in Lisbon, where he has focused his nearly four-decade career on agriculture banking, Jay knows dollars and cents count. In addition to his banking career and his duties with Garrison Diversion and Southeast Water Users, Jay also grows corn, beans, and oats, as well as operating a feedlot of 40-60 head of cattle each year.

Agriculture must be in his genetics, because both of his children with wife, Terese, went into ag-focused careers. Their daughter, Katlin, is the Strategic Pricing Associate Director – Retail & Pet Cargill Animal Nutrition for North America. Their son, Jake, operates AC Seed & Sales in Mantador and Lisbon, where Terese also works as Office Manager. Jay and Terese have five grandsons under age nine.