Doug Goehring

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This election page was last edited at 3:55 pm October 30, 2014.
Doug Goehring
Doug Goehring.jpg
North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture
In office
April 2009 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 5
PredecessorRoger Johnson (D)
Base salary$95,610
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$507,785
AppointedApril 2009
Term limitsNone
Office website
Personal website
Doug Goehring is the North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture. Goehring, a Republican, was appointed to the position in April 2009 and won a full term in November 2010.

Goehring is running for re-election as North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture.[1]


Goehring is a third-generation farmer. He and his son, Dustin, operate a 2,000-acre, no-till farm near Menoken in south central North Dakota. On their farm, the pair raise corn, soybeans, spring wheat, winter wheat, sunflowers and canola. Before assuming office, Goehring was president and chairman of the board of Nodak Mutual Insurance Company and a director of American Agricultural Insurance Company. He has served as vice president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau and is a member of several statewide and national farm associations. He is also the former director of both the United Soybean Board and the North Dakota Soybean Council, former secretary/treasurer of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association and a member of the USDA's Area 4 Research Farm Steering Committee. Goehring also served previously as president of the Menoken School Board and chairman of the Bismarck Mandan Chamber Agriculture Committee.[2]


  • Attended Bismarck State College
  • Licensed medical laboratory technician

Political career

North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture (2009-Present)

Goehring, a Republican, was appointed as North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture in April 2009 and won a full term in November 2010.

Inappropriate comment

In February 2014, Goehring admitted to making an inappropriate comment, which was investigated by North Dakota Human Resources Department. In an e-mail, Goehring explained how he made a "politically incorrect" comment to his staff. “I spoke and acted in a politically incorrect manner for today’s modern office,” Goehring wrote in the email. “I meant no ill-will. The complaint was fully investigated by the State Human Resources Division and there was not enough substance in the complaint and no action was deemed necessary. After the incident, on my own accord, I participated in appropriate training. It has always been my goal to provide a working environment at the Ag Department where employees feel comfortable doing their work.” Goehring was expected to face a potential primary challenge from Judy Estenson, a farmer and nurse.[3]



See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Goehring is running for re-election to the office of North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture. Goehring won the Republican nomination in the unopposed primary on June 10. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.[1]

Race background

The North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture also serves as a member on the state's three-member Industrial Commission. This commission, among many duties, regulates North Dakota's oil and gas industry.[4] The race for agriculture commissioner has taken on a heightened profile due to candidate disagreements over how to deal with the rush to extract oil and gas from the Bakken shale.

The incumbent, Republican Doug Goehring, has expressed support for an accelerated rate of oil extraction, opposing legislation that might slow down the growth of drilling.[5] In a speech at the state Republican convention, he implied support for a balanced approach, saying that "the ties between agriculture and energy have never been more important that they are today," but the North Dakota Farm Bureau endorsed his primary challenger, Judy Estenson.[6] Estenson, who was running to reform the office following allegations of mismanagement and harassment, lost the state GOP endorsement and dropped out of the race.[6][7]

The Democratic challenger, Ryan Taylor, has expressed concern about the consequences of the oil rush. He has said, "You can’t unleash all that oil and then wonder why the train tracks are full of oil tankers and you can’t get grain on from the elevators in North Dakota and get that product to market."[8] Taylor has advocated for greater weight on agricultural considerations; he was described as "the man who’s going to bring balance to the Industrial Commission."[8]

Campaign finance

Campaign finance disclosures filed by early October showed Goehring with $339,000 in contributions compared to $285,000 for Taylor.[9]

Issues background: Fracking
Oil production in North Dakota.png
See also: Fracking in North Dakota

Since oil was first struck in 1951 in North Dakota, over 13,000 wells have been drilled. The graph to the right shows how oil production has soared in the state, growing from 45.14 million barrels of oil in 2007, to 313.8 million barrels in 2013. This growth has brought both opportunities and challenges for the state. A study for the American Petroleum Institute estimated that 12 percent of state employment, and 13.1 percent of labor income in 2011, was due to the oil and gas industry.

The growth of the industry has also brought challenges, however, as large numbers of people have moved to the area seeking employment. This migration has increased the demand for housing, as well as police, fire and other government services. Additionally, concerns have been raised over the potential environmental impacts of such a large-scale boom. While fracking has been used for decades in the United States, there are concerns over the ability of regulators to enforce environmental protections consistently.[10][11][12][13]


Goehring won election to a full term in the November 2, 2010 election, defeating Democratic candidate Merle Boucher.[14]

North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Goehring Incumbent 68% 157,867
     Democratic Merle Boucher 31.9% 74,143
Total Votes 232,226


On November 7, 2006, Roger Johnson won re-election to the office of North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture. He defeated Doug Goehring (R) in the general election.

North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRoger Johnson Incumbent 55.8% 119,812
     Republican Doug Goehring 44.2% 94,736
Total Votes 214,548
Election Results Via: North Dakota Secretary of State


On November 2, 2004, Roger Johnson won re-election to the office of North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture. He defeated Doug Goehring (R) in the general election.

North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRoger Johnson Incumbent 50.3% 149,917
     Republican Doug Goehring 49.7% 148,039
Total Votes 297,956
Election Results Via: North Dakota Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Goehring is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Goehring raised a total of $507,785 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 20, 2013.[15]

Doug Goehring's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 ND Agriculture Commissioner Not up for election $3,098
2010 ND Agriculture Commissioner Won $198,296
2006 ND Agriculture Commissioner Defeated $184,377
2004 ND Agriculture Commissioner Defeated $122,014
Grand Total Raised $507,785


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Doug Goehring's donors each year.[16] Click [show] for more information.


Goehring has three children and four grandchildren. He attends Evangel Assembly of God in Bismarck.[2]

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 North Dakota Secretary of State, "2014 Primary Election Contest/Candidate List," April 9, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 North Dakota Department of Agriculture, "Meet the commissioner," accessed February 24, 2012
  3., "ND ag commissioner admits to inappropriate comment," accessed February 12, 2014
  4. North Dakota Industrial Commission, "About," April 10, 2014
  5. Ag Week, "ND ‘extraordinary places’ policy approved, but comment process will apply only to public land," April 10, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bismarck Tribune, "N.D. GOP endorses incumbent for ag post," April 10, 2014
  7., "Future of ND oil boom could hinge on ag commission race," April 10, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Taylor for North Dakota, "Jamestown Sun: Taylor calls for balance with oil in bid," April 10, 2014
  9. NewsOK, "ND agriculture commissioner contest more about oil," October 12, 2014
  10. North Dakota Energy Forum, "North Dakota Oil and Gas History," accessed July 25, 2014
  11. North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, "North Dakota Annual Oil Production," accessed October 15, 2014
  12. PricewaterhouseCooper LLP, "Economic Impacts of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry on the US Economy 2011," July 2013
  13. Stanford Law School Student Journals, "Local Government Fracking Regulations: A Colorado Case Study," January 2014
  14. North Dakota Secretary of State, "November 2010 General Election Results," accessed March 25, 2011
  15. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Doug Goehring," accessed May 20, 2013
  16. Follow the
Political offices
Preceded by
Roger Johnson (D)
North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture
April 2009–present
Succeeded by