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News and Blog

Posted 11/10/2018 2:48pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

Interested in Agritourism? Here are resources providing information on current efforts related to Agritourism in South Dakota.

South Dakota Agritourism Work Group

Ten individuals who represent a number of different entities and state agencies are now be collaborating to work on these efforts within the Agritourism Work Group.

South Dakota Agritourism Survey 

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is striving to develop and promote agritourism experiences within our state. Agritourism is any activity carried out on a farm or ranch that welcomes members of the general public to the property for entertainment or educational purposes.

Agritourism Presentation 

Presentation covering Opportunities for Agritourism in South Dakota. Kirk Hulstein, Industry Outreach & Development Director, Dept. of Tourism.

Posted 11/9/2018 6:07pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

Delicious samples were served at the Local Foods Showcase Social Event featuring area chef & producer food pairings & drinks. This event was held Nov. 2 in Brookings, SD as part of the South Dakota Local Foods Conference, an annual conference with educational sessions, vendors, networking opportunities and experiences that benefits producers, chefs, consumers, resource providers and other local food enthusiasts.   

Participants and dishes included: 

·     Norwegian Lamb Meatballs with Savory Brown Cheese & Cocoa Gravy— Michael Johnson of Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge (Sturdy Post Ranch, Nunda, SD)

 

·     Baked Spinach Pocket with Basil & Feta— Pouran Borchardt of Cafe Coteau at the Children's Museum of South Dakota (Brookings Farmers Market and Free Happy Farm, Brookings, SD) 

·     Pork Street Tacos with Cilantro, Onions and Day of the Dead Salsa— Jenilee Schleusner of Day of the Dead Foods (Hanisch Farms, Humboldt, SD with Dakota Fresh Food Hub)

 

·     Sunflower Seed Brittle, Honey Comb Candy & Cinnamon Glass Candy— Donna Behrend of Choco Latte (Dakota Style, Clark, SD; Stensland Family Farms, Sioux Falls, SD; & Adee Honey)

 

·     Fresh Coffee— Andrew Litz of Westbound Coffee

·     Coffee Marbled Cheese with Baguette, Kudo Brittle & Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans— Kurt Osborne of Kool Beans Coffee and Roasterie (Cottleston Bread, SDSU Dairy Bar, Locally Roasted Coffee) 

 

·     Spicy Butternut Squash & Leek Soup with Sausage & Mild Vegetarian Butternut Squash & Leek Soup— Caryl Bunkowske of Celebration Catering (Good Roots Farm & Gardens, Brookings, SD; Hanisch Farms with Dakota Fresh Food Hub)

·     Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter— David O'Neil of Parker's Bistro (Hanisch Farms; Prairies Past, Pipestone, MN; Tillford Rye Farm, Garretson, SD with Dakota Fresh Food Hub)

 

·     Wheat Berry Cracker, Butter Braised Radish, Buffalo Cheek, Crispy Sage & Pear Gastrique— Taylor Roberts of Drifters Bar & Grille (Venner Farms, Pierre, SD; B&G Produce, Pierre, SD; Family Farm, Ipswich; & Layton’s Farm)

 

·     Breakfast of Champions Coffee Stout—Wooden Legs Brewing Company (Kool Beans Coffee, Brookings) 

 

·     Scary Terry Cherry Wheat Ale— Eponymous Brewing, Brookings, SD 

·     Prairie Star White & Dakota Red Wine; Aronia Juice — Schade Vineyard & Winery

 

The event was hosted by a collaboration of partners including The Carrot Seed Kitchen, Dakota Rural Action, the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, and USDA Rural Development.  

Anyone with an interest in attending the 2019 Conference is encouraged to follow the South Dakota Local Foods Facebook Page  to find details on the event as they are made available.   

Posted 11/9/2018 5:18pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The S.D. Local Foods Conference (SDLFC), held Nov. 1-3 in Brookings, SD, provided educational sessions and experiences that benefited producers, chefs, consumers, resource providers and other local food enthusiasts. Those involved in the industry came together for the annual conference to learn, network, and celebrate South Dakota local foods. 

Keynote speaker Mark Winne, local foods author and expert in policy and food access solutions, discussed forming food policy councils as a great place to start to foster change at the local and state level. He discussed building a roadmap with a compelling vision, multi-stakeholder collaborations, and good policies.

Four breakout session tracks were offered during the conference. Friday featured:

·      Farm to School with Holly Tilton Byrne, former Dakota Rural Action & Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension

·      Ancient Grains with Brian Stambaugh, Belle Valley Ancient Grains, Newell, SD

·      Food System Development with Nick Hernandez & Ernest Weston, Thunder Valley CDC, Porcupine, SD

·      An Agricultural Entrepreneurs Panel with Stephanie Peterson, Fruit of the Coop; Anna Maifeld, Glory Garden; Amy Crawford, Bumpy Road Ranch; & John Zuhike, Little Shire Farm

·      Farm to School with Mark Winne

·      Rainwater Harvesting for Greenhouses with John McMaine, SDSU

·      Myth Busting Ag on Tribal Lands with Zach Ducheneaux, Indian Agriculture Council, Cheyenne River Tribe

·      Mentoring a Transition with Schadé Vineyard & Winery featuring Jim & Nancy Schade & Dillon Ringling, Volga, SD 

Locally sourced foods were incorporated into the event lunches, which included items like fresh buns, shredded pork, potato salad, salad toppings, butternut squash soup and fresh tarragon. Ingredient vendors included the Dakota Fresh Food Hub, Hillside Prairie Gardens, Dimock Dairy Products, Cottleston Bread, Fruit of the Coop, Hyatt Family Farms and Kool Beans Coffee.  

The South Dakota Local Foods Coalition shared the progress of the network’s efforts. Five statewide committees have formed to work on state branding, youth outreach, aggregation, processing and infrastructure, and informing the public and decision makers. Attendees contributed ideas and needs, and all were invited to participate in future statewide DDN meetings and a spring face-to-face meeting to advance these topic areas.  

Delicious samples were served at the Local Foods Showcase Social Event featuring area chef & producer food pairings & drinks. Participants included: Pouran Borchardt of Cafe Coteau at the Children's Museum of South Dakota; Caryl Bunkowske of Celebration Catering; Donna Behrend of Choco Latte; Jenilee Schleusner of Day of the Dead Foods; Taylor Roberts of Drifters Bar & Grille; Eponymous Brewing; Kurt Osborne of Kool Beans Coffee and Roasterie; David O'Neil of Parker's Bistro; Michael Johnson of Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge; Schadé Vineyard & Winery; Andrew Litz of Westbound Coffee; and Wooden Legs Brewing. 

An Agricultural Tourism Panel was featured Saturday morning. Speakers included Lynn Verschoor, SD Art Museum; Jim Schade, Schadé Vineyard & Winery; Kirk Hulstein, S.D. Dept. of Tourism; Jennifer Hoesing, Stockyard Ag Experience; and Peggy Schlecter, SDSU Extension. 

An addition four presentation tracks were offered on Saturday featuring:

·      The Significance of Vegetables & Fruits to Human Health, Nancy Wirsing, Gregory, SD

·      Agritourism at Cherry Rock Farm with Laura & Marco Patzer & Kirk Hulstein, S.D. Dept. of Tourism

·      A Chef’s Panel with Chef Scott Brinker, Rapid City Regional Health; Chef Michael Johnson, The Pheasant Restaurant, Brookings, SD; and Chef Nicolas Skajewski, Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD

·      The Community Impact of Shared Kitchens with Jennifer Quail, Brookings Economic Development Corp. and Joan Sacrison, Deuel Area Development, Inc.

·      Goats in South Dakota with Tom Barnes of Pleasant Valley Farm, Custer, SD

·      Hydroponic Farming & Controlled Environment Agriculture with Erica Proefrock & Alexander Hamaker of Column Greens, Spearfish, SD

·      The Feasibility of Hops Production in S.D. with Ryan Heine & Michelle Donner, 6th Meridian Hops, Yankton, SD

·      A Meat Processing Panel with Bryan Sanderson, SDDA Business Dev.; Adam Rhody, SDSU Meat Lab; Trenton Kor, Bruce Market; and Jessica Kruse, K Creek Ranch

·      Community Outreach & Partnerships with Michael Prate, REDCO, Mission, SD

·      Honey Lodge Honey & Youth Advocacy with Marla Bull Bear, Lakota Youth Development, Herrick, SD

·      Local Foods in Indian Country Round Table with Nick Hernandez, Thunder Valley CDC, Porcupine, SD

·      Local Foods Value Chain: Marketing & Distribution with Erin Hamann, Dakota Fresh Food Hub

·      Pesticide Drift Panel, with Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension; Dr. John Ball, SDSU; Attorney Lee Schoenbeck; & Angela Jackson Pulse, Prairie Sun Organics

·      Why I Want Local Foods with Kristen Gjesdal, The Carrot Seed, Brookings, SD

·      Risk Management for Organic & Non-GMO Growers with Angela Jackson Pulse, Prairie Sun Organics 

  

Participants enjoyed visiting with conference vendors and learning from and networking with others in the industry. 

The 2018 SDLFC Sponsors include the Brookings Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Carrot Seed Kitchen, Co., Nature’s Best, LLC, USDA-SARE, and Pomegranate Market. The SDLFC is hosted annually by a collaboration of partners including Dakota Rural Action, the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, and USDA Rural Development.  

Anyone with an interest in attending the 2019 Conference is encouraged to follow the South Dakota Local Foods Facebook page to find details on the event as they are made available.

Posted 10/11/2018 10:25am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The Agritourism tour at Cherry Rock Farms highlighted fall entertainment that can be offered at a farm destination. Approximately 30 people, including families and children, attended the tour.   

Cherry Rock Farms has been family owned and operated since 1925. Laura and Marco Patzer are now the 4th generation running the business. The farm strives to provide natural and organically grown produce that is harvested daily and sold through their farm store. They also offer consumers pick-your-own pumpkins, herbs and cut flowers.  

Laura provided a tour of their on farm store located just south of Brandon, SD.  The retail store contained a variety of vegetables grown on the farm, a living bee display case and honey, and products gathered from other producers, including meats and eggs.

 

She shared the story of their business and walked the guests through the warm greenhouses, which are currently producing lettuce, salad greens, carrot, onions and the last of the tomatoes.  On the way out to the pumpkin patch and corn maze she noted that many schools hold field trips at the farm. Several families harvested pumpkins for home from the large patch featuring 14 varieties and nibbled on raspberries on the edge of the field. 

Marco provided a hayride around the property. The farm is split by the beautiful Split Rock River. The east side of the farm housed larger beds of potatoes, onions, watermelon, peppers and other vegetables as well as some row crop production.  

Jacey Jessop, of the S.D. Dept. of Tourism said a few words about the continued desire to promote farm destinations and agritourism in the state. Additionally, she highlighted theSD Agritourism Work Group. This is a group of individuals representing a number of different entities and state agencies who are working on the promoting existing agritourism opportunities, as well as assisting those who are looking to start new businesses or expand existing operations to include an experience for visitors.

Posted 10/9/2018 3:33pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) provides this event listing as a courtesy. Content provided at these events is solely the responsibility of the managing entity and does not necessarily represent the official views of SDSPA.

   

FSMA Trainings- MN Dept. of Agriculture

Dec., 2018 - Mar., 2019, Across Minnesota

To learn more about  FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Grower Trainings visit FSMA Grower Training page or visit the Online Registration Portal to view and register for upcoming trainings.

 

Northern Grape Webinar

  • Grapevine Trunk Disease  Dec. 11- 12 p.m. CT/11 a.m. MT

 

eOrganic WebinarsLearn about the latest organic farming research with these free learning opportunities. Register now to reserve your spot.

Soil Health & Organic Farming Series

  • Water Management and Water Quality Jan. 9- 1p.m. CT/12 p.m. MT

 

Great Plains Growers Conference

Jan. 10-12, 2019, St. Joseph, MO 

 

Nebraska Grower & Brewer Conference & Tradeshow

Jan. 13-14, 2019, Lincoln, NE

Event provides educational information to regional hop growers and craft brewers, a platform for participants to build industry connections and relationships, and the resources, skills and tools for participants to contribute to the Nebraska hop growing and craft beer industries.

 

Northern Plains Food & Farming NPSAS Conference

Jan. 24-26, 2019, Fargo, ND 

Register Online

The event will feature three keynote presenters including Chef Dan Barber from Blue Hill and Steffen & Rachel Schneider from Hawthorne Valley Farm as well as lots of great workshops and presentations in the works. 

 

eXtension Learn Webinars:

 

AgFest

Feb. 6, 2019- 5:30- 8 P.M. CT, Pierre Ramkota River Centre.

The 20th Anniversary of AgFest will showcase the many aspects of agriculture, including traditional and innovative approaches. Those visiting AgFest exhibits (including legislators and industry leaders) will have a unique opportunity to explore the diverse aspects and products derived from our state’s leading industry. Hosted by Ag Unity.

 

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Feb. 21-23, 2019, La Crosse, WI

 

VESTA Sensory Training

Apr. 11-12, 2019, Mitchell, SD

Attend 1 or 2-day workshop.  Focus will include one day on Whites and one day on Reds. Details will be forthcoming. 

Posted 10/9/2018 12:56pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

Value Added Agriculture Center Day was held Aug. 30 at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, SD. This event, hosted by the Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC) provided an opportunity for producers of specialty and niche foods to showcase their products to over 500 fair attendees.

 

The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) featured members at the event including Jasen & Heather Albrecht, Albrecht’s Angel Honey (Huron); Monica Pugh, Floras & Bouquets (Sioux Falls); Erica Proefrock & Alexander Hamaker, Column Greens (Spearfish); Tom Barnes, Pleasant Valley Farm (Custer); Jerry & Dixie Seaman, If Ranch Lamb & Harmony Soaps & Lotions (Newell); John Zuhlke and Kristine Brown, Little Shire Farm (Aurora); Nancy Schade, Schadé Vineyard & Winery (Volga); Stacy Roberts, Huron Farmers Market (Huron); and Kari O’Neill, Dakota Fresh Food Hub

 

“This opportunity helps producers hone their marketing skills by providing a venue for salesmanship and face-to-face conversations with prospective consumers and potential new producers,” said Cory Tomovick, SDSPA Membership Coordinator. “The event also allows consumers to realize the vast variety of products that are grown and processed in South Dakota.”  

The SD Ag Tourism Working Group also provided a booth and information with representatives Kirk Hulstein of the S.D. Dept. of Tourism and Peggy Schlechter of SDSU Extension. This group is working to promote existing agritourism opportunities, as well as work with partners and entities across the state to assist those who are looking to start a new business or expand existing opportunities to include a visitor experience.

In addition, educational presentations highlighted different aspects of production across the state. Albrecht presented on honey production and Barnes spoke about the South Dakota’s growing meat goat market. 

SDSPA members also provided a demonstration using local foods and served approximately 120 samples to the audience. While cooking they shared highlights on the local foods industry in South Dakota, discussing the Dakota Fresh Food Hub, a group of producers in the Sioux Falls region who sells to restaurants, grocery stores and other wholesale buyers; the 2018 Local Foods Conference scheduled for Brookings Nov. 1-3; SDSPA field tours held over the 2018 growing season; and the quality of local foods found across the state.

O’Neill featured black currants grown on her property in Martin to create Black Currant Syrup, which was spooned over freshly made ice cream provided by the Midwest Dairy Producers. 

Kim Brannen, Gavins Point Vineyard (Yankton), utilized fresh zucchini and yellow squash from Garden Gate LLC and Prairie Moon Herbs in Vermillion to create Zoodles, noodles made out of zucchini. She created several sauces to ladle over the zoodles including a garlic and butter sauce with fresh mozzarella, a marinara sauce, and a teriyaki sauce. Butter was purchased from Dimock Cheese.  

Tomovick utilized fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes from DC Gardens (Vale), garlic from Lookout Gardens (Spearfish), basil from Tobias Gardens (Hermosa), and purple basil from Prairie Moon Herbs. See the recipe below.

Other vegetables provided by the Black Hills Farmers Market were displayed on tables in front of the audience. 

 

Producers, processors, marketers, chefs, consumers, professional and personal groups, and anyone interested in learning more about local food production are encouraged to contact SDSPA.

 

 

 

Bruschetta

(Use Locally Grown Ingredients – You can taste the difference!)

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 pints of grape tomatoes, quartered or halved (your choice)
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (more or less/to your taste)
  • 16 whole fresh basil leaves, plus several for garnish
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil (for baguettes) 

 

Directions: 

Brush baguette slices with olive oil and brown in pan over medium heat. Keep warm in oven (250 degrees). Peel and finely mince garlic and place in bowl. Quarter or half tomatoes and place in bowl. Finely dice basil leaves and add to bowl. Add balsamic vinegar. Mix ingredients in bowl and add salt and pepper to taste, along with 4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Remove baguette slices from oven and place on serving plate. Spoon mixture over slices of baguette and serve. ENJOY!

Posted 9/25/2018 9:35am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

Growers, processors, chefs and consumers passionate about local foods are invited to register for the 2018 South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC). This regional event will provide networking opportunities, roundtables, speaker panels and educational sessions on marketing, production, business, communities and food sovereignty. 

The 2018 SDLFC is scheduled for Nov. 2-3 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings, SD. Pre-conference workshops and tours are scheduled for Nov. 1.  Click here for full conference and schedule details. The registration deadline is Oct. 26.

This year’s conference features keynote speaker Mark Winne, local foods author and expert in policy and food access solutions.His keynote"Setting the Table for South Dakota’s Food Future”will discuss how a state like ours can move along a path to sustainable food production that strengthens the economy and ensures access to healthy and affordable food. He will discuss building a roadmap with a compelling vision, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and good policies. 

Four tracks of breakout sessions are offered during the conference on topics including: hops production, eggs, greenhouse rain harvesting, raising goats, ancient grains production, hydroponics, meat processing, farm to school, local food policy, selling to chefs, food system development, risk management for organic & non-GMO growers, local foods in Indian Country, food hubs, farm transition and more.

Other components of the event include vendor booths, meals using local foods, and a plenary session, held on Nov. 2, which will bring participants together to continue the discussion on the big picture vision of local foods and the next steps to further South Dakota’s local food system.  

A wide range of pre-conference sessions and tours are offered Nov. 1. All sessions require advanced registration and have a separate fee ranging from $10-$30 per session. 

Good Roots Farm & Gardens of Brookings will offer two sessions at their farm. In the first, they will discuss the visioning through execution of their journey to become an organic vegetable farm, event space, CSA, commercial kitchen and beyond. Stewart’s Aronia Acres will join them for the second session featuring an introduction to aronia berry production.  

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren of Blue Dasher Farm will facilitate a session on the importance of pollinators and discuss ways to increase production by using regenerative agriculture.  

SDSU Extension will cover the latest developments in produce safety regulations for farmers. They will also discuss developing your own farm food safety plan.

Jennifer Quail from Brookings Economic Development Corporation will discuss developing a shared commercial kitchen. Participants will tour the Brookings facility, which is currently being renovated. 

John D. Brown of the Northern Plains Resource Council and Yellowstone Valley Citizen’s Council is an organic producer in Montana. He will facilitate a participatory session to work towards bridging the gap between producer and consumers perceptions of natural farming practices. 

Dakota Rural Action and SDSU Extension will introduce the new South Dakota Farm to School Handbook, which covers the rules, regulations and best practices as they relate to producers, schools and educators. 

The SDSU Local Foods Education Center will present their history and mission. Future research and marketing tips will be shared and participants will tour the site, weather permitting.  

Tickets are available for the Nov. 2 Local Foods Showcase Social Event featuring area chef & producer food pairings. Join us between 5-8 p.m. C.T. at this come-and-go event for fun and lively conversation while celebrating our state’s local food scene. Tickets are $30 each and are available until sold out. Attendees are not required to participate in the conference to attend the social. 

Chefs will serve up a variety of unique dishes while local beer and wine makers pour their favorite beverages.This event will feature the Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge; Cafe Coteau at Children's Museum of South Dakota; Day of the Dead Salsa; Choco Latte; Westbound Coffee; Kool Beans Coffee and Roasterie; Cottleston Bread; Celebration Catering; Parker's Bistro; Drifters Bar & Grille; Wooden Legs Brewing Company; and Schadé Vineyard & Winery.

The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 26. Registration for the two-day SDLFC is $115 per person ($80 for one day). A 2-day student rate is available to currently enrolled college, technical institute and university students for $70. Proof of enrollment is required. Registration includes general and breakout sessions, a light breakfast, snacks and lunch.

Registration for all listed events is available here. Late registrations and walk-ins are welcome, however meals are not guaranteed after the deadline.

The SDLFC is hosted by a collaboration of partners including Dakota Rural Action, the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, and USDA Rural Development. The 2018 Conference Sponsors include the Brookings Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Carrot Seed Kitchen, Co., Nature’s Best, LLC, USDA-SARE, and Pomegranate Market.  

Anyone with an interest in local foods is encouraged to attend. Direct any questions to conference organizers at sdlocalfoods@gmail.com or 605-697-5205 Ext 250.

Follow the conference event on the South Dakota Local Foods Facebook page.

Posted 9/13/2018 2:19pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) has coordinated a farm tour featuring Cherry Rock Farms, which will showcase how to build an agritourism business. The tour is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. C.T. in the Brandon, SD area. 

This free event is open to the public and families are welcome. The tour will be of interest to producers, processors, chefs, consumers and anyone wanting more information about local foods and specialty crops. No registration is required.

Cherry Rock Farms, located at 48105 264th St., Brandon, SD, is a 4th generation family farm. The farm strives to provide natural and organically grown produce that is harvested daily and sold through their farm store. They also offer consumers pick-your-own options.  Laura and Marco Patzer will share the story of their business and provide a farm tour.

The event will include a hayride, greenhouse walking tour, and tour of the pumpkin patch and corn maze. Members of the SD Agritourism Work Group will participate in the tour and can visit with attendees about opportunities across the state.

Please note that chefs can receive 2.0 CEH’s for attending the tour and Master Gardeners can earn continuing education hours.

You will be a guest on tour hosts’ property, so please use common sense and follow directions. You come at your own risk.

The event is sponsored by SDSPA in partnership with the SD Agritourism Work Group, SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.

This is the final tour organized by SDSPA for 2018. If you have requests or suggestions for tour sites for the 2019 season, please contact SDSPA at 605-681-6793 or email.

Event Agenda

Posted 9/11/2018 9:01am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

South Dakota’s 1st annual Meat and Dairy Goat Workshop was held in Brookings in July. Eighty-three participants from South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa attended the event featuring industry expert presentations and hands-on training. 

The Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC) along with collaborators South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension organized the workshop at South Dakota State University’s Alfred Dairy Science Hall.  

“Interest was high for everyone there and information was well divided between meat and dairy producers,” said Tom Barnes, SDSPA Vice President and goat producer.  Six highly qualified speakers addressed goat production challenges and solutions for both meat and dairy goats.   

Dr. Gerardo Caja, world renown small ruminant researcherof Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, offered meat goat expertise during a hands-on session; Dr. Steve Hart, E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research- Langston University of Oklahoma, discussedsmall ruminant nutrition, parasite control and marketing for goats; Dr. Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources, spoke on raising a small goat dairy herd in South Dakota; Dr. Joe Klein, Veterinarian from White, SD, spoke on small ruminant veterinary protocol; Dr. Maristela Rovai, SDSU Assistant Professor & Extension Dairy Specialist, spoke on main aspects of milk quality and lactation physiology of dairy goats; and Dr. Ahmed Salama, SDSU Post-doctorate Associate in the Dairy and Food Science Department discussed heat and cold stress effects on goat performance. 

“Goat and dairy producers were able to take away excellent knowledge on goat health, feeding, lactation and handling from some of the nation’s leading small ruminant experts,” said Dr. Maristela Rovai, SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist. Attendees gathered practical information, which they can incorporate, into their operations to grow better meat and dairy goats.  

Vendors and sponsors were the American Goat Federation, Sioux Nation Ag Center and Pleasant Valley Goat Farm. SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department hosted the workshop and provided an area for the goats by Stargazer Stables and Farm, Parker, SD for the hands-on session.  

A delicious goat taco meal was prepared and served by two SDSU Animal Science Graduate Student Association members and meat lab manager.  SDSPA gathered all the local food used for the meal, cookies and breaks. The attendees were also treated to goat cheese from Oklahoma and ice cream from the SDSU Dairy Bar.

“The inaugural workshop offered a platform to initiate value added potential discussions,” said Cheri Rath, Executive Director of the VAADC. She added, the VAADC will begin working with meat and dairy goat producers identified at the workshop, along with any other interested individuals, to explore prospect marketing opportunities. 

Training and networking activities are anticipated for the future to help support this growing producer group. A 1-hour seminar on ‘Goat Production for Beginners’ is scheduled as part of the South Dakota Local Foods Conference, held Saturday, Nov. 3 in Brookings, SD. Tom Barnes of Pleasant Valley Goat Farm, Custer, SD will be one of the presenters.

If you have questions about the developing goat producers’ network, contact Tom Barnes. Visit the SDSPA website to watch for upcoming events.

Posted 8/29/2018 5:14pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The 2018 South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC) is scheduled for Nov. 2-3 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings, SD. In addition, Thursday, Nov. 1 offers several in-depth pre-conference sessions and tours. Registration opens Sept. 1, 2018. 

This conference provides educational programming and networking opportunities for producers, chefs, grocers, nutrition programs, consumers, local food enthusiasts, and resource providers of specialty crops and other local food products. Other components of the event include vendor booths, a tasting event with area chefs, and meals using local foods.  

This year’s conference features keynote speaker Mark Winne, a local foods expert in policy and food access solutions. He is the author of‘Stand Together or Starve Alone’ and ‘Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty.”  

His keynote"Setting the Table for South Dakota’s Food Future”will discuss how a state like South Dakota can move along a path to sustainable food production that strengthens the economy and ensures access to healthy and affordable food. He will discuss building a roadmap with a compelling vision, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and good policies.  

The SDLFC will provide several pre-conference sessions and tours on Nov. 1. Sessions planned at Good Roots Farm & Gardens include ‘Small Farm Income Diversity’ and ‘Aronia Production.’ Sessions at McCrory Gardens Visitor Center & Strawbale House will include ‘Natural Farming Practices,’ ‘Farm to School,’ ‘Pollinators- Increasing your Production,’ and ‘Starting A Shared Commercial Kitchen.’ Additional tours include the SDSU Local Foods Education Center on campus. These sessions require advance registration and additional fees beyond the conference registration. 

The full conference, Nov. 2-3, will take place at the Swiftel Center.  Learning tracks during the event include ‘Tools for Success,’ ‘Production,’ ‘Food Sovereignty,’ ‘Business,’ and ‘Marketing.’ 

Specific breakout sessions on Nov. 2 include farm to school, ancient grains production, food system development, a farm entrepreneur panel, local food policy councils, rainwater harvesting for greenhouses, mentoring a farm transition and more. 

Nov. 3 will offer breakout sessions showcasing goats, hydroponics, the feasibility of hops production, a meat processing panel, a chefs panel, food hubs, agritourism, vegetables and fruits and human health, community kitchens, community outreach and partnerships, local foods in Indian Country, Honey Lodge Honey and Youth Advocacy, risk management for organic & non-GMO growers and more. 

The event will again feature a Plenary Session, held on Nov. 2, which will bring participants together to continue the discussion on the big picture vision of local foods and discuss the next steps to be taken to further the local food system in South Dakota.  

The Local Foods Showcase is scheduled for Friday evening. This social event is centered on bringing together talented area chefs to promote the local fare of South Dakota. Area restaurants and chefs will serve a variety of unique dishes and local beer and wine producers will pour their favorite drinks. Tickets are limited and sold separately from conference registration. 

Early bird registration runs Sept. 1 – 30 for the two-day event at $90 per person ($70 for one day). October 1, the registration goes to $115 per person ($80 for one day). A 2-day student rate is available to currently enrolled college, technical institute and university students for $70. Proof of enrollment is required. Registration includes general and breakout sessions, a light breakfast, snacks and lunch. Beginning Sept. 1 register and complete your online payment for any of the pre-conference sessions and the conference.

The Local Foods Conference is hosted by a collaboration of partners including Dakota Rural Action, the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, and USDA Rural Development. The 2018 Conference Sponsors include The Carrot Seed Kitchen, Co., Nature’s Best, LLC, USDA-SARE, and Pomegranate Market.

Anyone with an interest in local foods is encouraged to attend.Direct any questions to conference organizers at sdlocalfoods@gmail.com or 605-697-5205 Ext 250. Follow the conference event on the South Dakota Local Foods Facebook page.