Bill and Anne Ongstad
Husband's Full Name: William Marvin Ongstad
Husband's Place of Birth: Harvey, ND
Husband's Father's Name: Herbert Ongstad
Husband's Mother's Name: Margaret Christensen Ongstad
Husband's Siblings' Names: None
Wife's Full Name: Anne Coleen Whitman Ongstad
Wife's Place of Birth: Robinson, ND
Wife's Father's Name: Ward Whitman
Wife's Mother's Name: Edith Anne Mahin
Wife's Siblings' Names: Kay, Shelly,
Children's Names: Samuel, Suzanna, Rebekah, Tabitha, Miriam
William (Bill) Marvin Ongstad was born in Harvey, ND and grew up on his parent’s farm north of Manfred. He attended Manfred School for his first eight years with Mrs. Rogness in the “little room” and Mrs. Cummings in the “big room.” He graduated from Fessenden in 1969, participated in football and served as FFA chapter president and state FFA Officer at Large receiving the American Farmer Degree. In 1974, he graduated from NDSU in Agricultural Education. He was in the Crops and Soils Club, elected to the Student Senate, started the “Friends of the Library” organization, member of the FarmHouse Fraternity, and was the first student to chair a Senate Committee - the Academic Resources Committee.
Bill started farming full time in 1974 on the Ole J. Rodne farmstead. The original Rodne barn has been preserved and serves as the farm shop. (See Dec. 2002 Issue, Pages 7 and 10) In 1974, Bill married Anne Whitman the daughter of Ward and Edith (Mahin) Whitman of Robinson. Anne graduated from NDSU in 1975.
Bill served as treasurer and president of the Wells County Better Seed and Grain, treasurer of Fram Township, Harvey School Board member 1993-2005, chairman of the FFA Alumni which helped finance the construction of a greenhouse in 2003 for the Vo Ed and Science Departments of Harvey School.
In 1979, Bill began participating in the US Durum Growers serving as president 1988-90. He has made numerous lobbying trips to Bismarck and Washington DC. In 1986, he was one of twelve North Dakota agriculture leaders to meet with President Ronald Reagan in Grand Forks. Also among the twelve was John Bollingberg of Fessenden representing Edible Beans Council and Mel Schramm of Cathay for the National Farmers Organization.
He was elected to Farm Credit Services of North Dakota Board of Directors in 2000. He also serves on the Wells County Mentoring Advisory Committee. Bill is widely known, well-versed, and jolly of nature. The Ongstads have been members of Vang Church where Bill served as usher, president, and trustee. Anne served as organist. Bill together with his son Sam have generously given of their time and equipment use to MHP, Inc. for restoration work in Manfred.
Bill and Anne Ongstad are each active in farming/ranching operations: Bill helps his son Sam with the Ongstad Farm near Manfred while Anne manages the Whitman Ranch near Robinson. Bill and Anne had five children. Samuel (Sam) and his wife Amy live on the Ongstad Farm northeast of Manfred with their three children. Susanna attended Dickinson State and presently is living in Grand Forks. Rebecca (Beka) lives in Minneapolis and is a project manager in a law firm there. She has a music degree with a concentration in piano, and a psychology degree. Tabitha is a medical doctor and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is halfway through her residency in surgery. Miriam died in 1995.