BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Agriculture Department says people who raised suspicion while taking photos and samples of grain around the state are legitimate, and working on behalf of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The department last week cautioned farmers about the possibility of people impersonating state employees in order to take photos and samples of wheat, after fielding calls from farmers.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says further investigation determined the people are contract employees with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The samples they're taking are being submitted to North Dakota State University for quality analysis.

Goehring says the workers will be around the state a while longer, collecting soybean and corn samples. He says his department has asked them to ensure they properly identify themselves.