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News and Blog

Posted 6/7/2018 9:20am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

We are seeking event sponsors to help defray costs of this free event!

A $100 Sponsorship offers: Sponsor listing on event promotional materials and on website and social media.

A $250 Sponsorship offers: Sponsor listing on event promotional materials and on website and social media, and booth space at event (bring own table).

Event Sponsors: 

Sponsor Levels
Sponsor Name:

(Limited number of spots)

Event Donations:

If interested in supporting the event at an alternative amount. Please donate here! 

Contact Kim with questions.

Posted 6/1/2018 1:48pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association has organized several producer tours for the 2018 growing season. The tours are open to producers, processors, chefs, consumers, and anyone with an interest in local foods and specialty crops. Families are welcome to come and enjoy learning about how these foods are produced.

Registration is not required to attend except for events where meals are served. Please see each event listing for details. Contact Cory Tomovick for specific tour information.

Pastured Meats & Egg Production Tours

June 24, 1-5 p.m. — Canistota & Canova, SD

Features Tom & Ruth Neuberger of the Goosemobile and ‘Our Story- Pastured Meats & Mentoring the Next Generation.’ Travis & Lisa Muth will feature ‘Egg production & Getting Started.’ Free of charge, no registration required. Facebook Event

Growing Ancient Grains & Greenhouse Tomatoes Tours

July 28, 9:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. – Newell, SD

Includes a presentation by Mark & Becky Kirby of Kirby Tomatoes on ‘Growing Greenhouse Tomatoes,’ and presentation by Brian & Linda Strambaugh, of Belle Valley Ancient Grains. Information on ‘Using Natural Enemies’ will also be provide by Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist. Dr. Rhoda Burrows, SDSU Extension Horticultural Specialist will discuss ‘Irrigation Management in Greenhouses & High Tunnels.’ Free of charge, no registration required. Lunch is a ‘Local Foods Potluck.’ Bring a dish to share. Facebook Event

Growing Nuts & Hops Tours

August 4, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., 4 p.m. Social — Yankton, SD

Presentation by Darrell & Martha Ausborn of Ausborn’s Tree Nut Grove on ‘Growing Nuts in South Dakota.’ Local Foods Lunch by Counterfeit Catering Food Truck. Brews will also be available. ‘Growing Hops in South Dakota’ session offered by Michelle Donner and Ryan Heine of 6th Meridian Hops, LLC. Will include an oasting, baling and pelleting demonstrations and discussion on ‘Late Season Mildew Management’ with Katherine Kreuser, of University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Cost: Variable for meal; items under $10. No registration is required. Facebook Event

Small-scale Farming & Honey Extraction Tours

August 19, 9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. – Belle Fourche & St. Onge, SD

Presentation by Neal & Kursty Drury on the ‘Why & How of Small Scale Farming.’ Lunch will be offered at the Green Bean Coffee House in Spearfish. Those interested in the meal must pre-register by Aug. 17 by emailing Cost: $12 for meal, paid day of the event. ‘Honey Making’ and ‘Extraction Demonstration’ with Kiah and Carl Crowley of Sunrise Hives. Facebook Event

Eggs, Mushrooms & Microgreens Tours

September 8, 12 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. — Brandon & Sioux Falls, SD

Presentation by Stephanie Peterson of Fruit of the Coop. Presentation by Daniel Rislov of Dakota Mushrooms & Microgreens with facility tour.  Partnering with Homegrown Sioux Empire Local Chapter of DRA. No meal included. Free of charge. No registration required. Facebook Event

Agritourism Tour with Cherry Rock Farms

October 6— Brandon, SD

Save the date! Facebook Event

Attention Chefs please note: 2 CEH’s available for each tour (4 per day). Attention Master Gardeners: Volunteer and Continuing Ed Hours available for horticulture-related event.

Events Poster

Posted 6/1/2018 8:01am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) has coordinated upcoming farm tours to feature pastured meats and egg production on Sunday, June 24 from 1-5 p.m. C.T. in rural McCook & Miner Counties. 

Local producers, chefs, consumers and organizations involved in local or specialty foods are encouraged to attend the free tours.  Bring your family and enjoy an afternoon learning about how your food is produced. Participants may attend one or both sessions. No registration is required.

Third-generation farmers Tom & Ruth Neuberger specialize in sustainable livestock farming. They started with geese, and over time, added chickens, ducks, turkeys, beef cattle, lambs and pigs. They launched the Goosemobile mobile market in 1980 to get product directly to consumers.

Goosemobile Pastured Meats is now under new ownership by Lisa and Travis Muth. They, along with their eight children, raise free-range beef, pork, lamb, meat chickens, laying hens, ducks and geese.

The tour will begin at 45052 260th Street, Canistota, SD at 1 p.m. C.T. with the Neubergers, who will present ‘Our Story- Pastured Meats & Mentoring the Next Generation.’ They will provide a tour and additional talk on rotational grazing.

Participants will then travel to 44075 242nd Street, Canova, SD. At 3:30 p.m. C.T. the Muths will present ‘Egg Production & Getting Started’ followed by a farm tour. Be cautious of GPS directions. When traveling north on Highway 81 from Interstate 90, turn west 1/8 mile on 242nd Street. The farm is on the south side of 242nd Street.

Families are welcome. Kids can enjoy holding baby chicks and gathering eggs.  You will be a guest on tour hosts’ property, so please use common sense and follow directions. You come at your own risk.

Please note that chefs can receive 2.00 CEH’s for participating in the first tour and an additional 2.0 CEH’s for the 2ndtour.

The event is sponsored by SDSPA in partnership with SDSU Extension, the American Culinary Federation- Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs, Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the USDA and the SD Department of Tourism.

Additional tours featuring specialty crops, meats and value-added products are schedule this summer across the state.  The next tours are schedule for July 28 near Newell, SD featuring ancient grain and greenhouse tomato production and Aug. 4 near Yankton, SD featuring nuts and hops production. 

See our Event Calendar for a full listing of events or our Facebook Events Page. For more information contact SDSPA at 605-681-6793 or

See the Event Poster for detailed agenda.

Posted 5/15/2018 1:22pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

July 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST in Brookings, SD at the Alfred Dairy Science Building on the SDSU Campus.

Hosted by the Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC) in partnership with South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension.

This upcoming workshop will address both meat and dairy goat production, small ruminant health and marketing topics though presentations and hands-on training. Dr. Maristela Rovai, SDSU Dairy Specialist, adds, “The program includes open forum meat and dairy goat discussions for information sharing and producer perspective.”

Speakers Include:

  • Dr. Steve Hart, Goat Specialist from Langston University in Oklahoma will present on small ruminant nutrition and parasite control for goats.
  • Dr. Gerardo Caja, world renown small ruminant researcher, will offer expertise on raising meat goats.
  • Dr. Maristela Rovai, Dairy Specialist from SDSU, will discuss lactation of goats.
  • Dr. Ahmed Salama, SDSU, will talk about heat and cold stress effects on goat performance.
  • Dr. Alvaro Garcia, Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director and Dairy Specialist from SDSU Extension will provide information on raising a small goat dairy herd in South Dakota.


“The inaugural workshop is intended to provide attendees with valuable production information and to gain feedback on relevant production and value added ideas that can be addressed in subsequent workshops and activities,” said Cheri Rath, Executive Director of the VAADC.

“I encourage anyone raising meat or dairy goats or are considering doing so to attend this workshop. We’re bringing together recognized goat experts and producers for a great day of learning and networking,” said Tom Barnes, SDSPA Vice President and goat producer.

The workshop fee is $30, plus processing, and includes lunch featuring local goat, cheese and products. Advanced registration is requested to ensure access to materials and the meal. Participants may also register at the door.

A room block is available at the Brookings Econolodge for $69.99 per night. Contact 605-692-3111 to make reservations. 

Those interested in being a sponsor or vendor at the event are requested to contact Tom Barnes.

For questions about the event contact Cheri Rath.

For additional details find this event on Facebook.


Goat Workshop Registration

 **Includes processing fee

Posted 4/28/2018 1:42pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

DriftWatch and BeeCheck are new on-line sensitive site registry programs for South Dakota available through FieldWatch.This national registry is a voluntary communication tool that enables crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators to work together to protect specialty crops and apiaries through use of mapping programs.  

This site is free to users and is available at:  

“The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) strongly encourages those who produce fruits and vegetables, honey, organic crops and other crops sensitive to pesticide drift to get registered, said “Tom Bodensteiner, SDSPA President. 

South Dakota Department of Agriculture was awarded Specialty Crop Block grant funds to roll out this new registry to help avoid crop damage from pesticide spray drift. Participants register their crops and acreage and can indicate pollinator habitat area if that applies. This program replaces the old South Dakota Sensitive Site Registry.  

This more robust system is user-friendly, allows users to see information that may cross state lines, and allows the user to enter information specific to the operation. The information will pull up on compatible applicator software. Although compliance it not required, the additional notes section does create an opportunity for producers to list their preferences for applicators to consider. FieldWatch will require yearly updating so that applicators will have up-to-date data.  

“The tool allows you to mark your acres with a drawing tool as well as make comments. For example, I commented to stay 500 feet back from my boundaries and to avoid flying over my house, barns, poultry houses, or processing plant. I also requested a 48-hour notification before spraying of any kind because I carry out on-farm semi open-air food processing”, said Angela Jackson Pulse, organic grower. 

Field signs can be used for additional communication and awareness. Official FieldWatch signs are available for purchase on the website by registered producers and beekeepers with approved sites. 

In addition to user-submitted sensitive crops, the map interface provides other data layers that give further insight into sensitive and protected areas, as well as help identify county/township/section jurisdictions. DriftWatch is not intended to be a registry for homeowners or for sites less than half an acre in size. It is not a substitute for any state regulatory requirements.

DriftWatch™ was designed by staff from Purdue University ten years ago to help applicators, growers of specialty crops and beekeepers communicate about the locations of crops and hives to improve stewardship. Since 2012 it has operated as a stand-alone entity, FieldWatch, Inc, a non-profit company created by Purdue in collaboration with interested agricultural stakeholder groups.

Posted 3/20/2018 10:31am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

On March 1 –2 in Oacoma at the Arrowwood Resort, producers and agency representatives met to collaborate and re-energize efforts to grow the local foods system in the state where all stakeholders are heard and solutions are developed. These efforts were organized and led by SDSPA through funding awarded in the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant.

The gathering began with partnership briefings where both producers and agency/organization representatives discussed both needs and resources available. Agencies and organizations participating included: SDSU Extension, SDSU Department of Agronomy, SD Department of Agriculture, SD Value-Added Development Center, SDSU Extension and Natural Resources, SD Department of Health, SD Department of Tourism, SD Department of Veterinary Services, Dakota Rural Action and SD Specialty Producers Association.

SDSU Extension representatives facilitated working groups. Initial discussions began with reviewing outcomes from the 2017 SD Local Foods Conference Plenary session. Participants were able to focus on the following areas: Farmer’s Markets, Funding Your Success, Food Production Challenges & Solutions with an emphasis on Pesticide Drift and Processing Facilities for Specialty Meats, and Agritourism Opportunities in South Dakota.

Discussions identified five statewide priorities for the partnership to address:

  • A brand for South Dakota local foods

  • Youth education

  • Implementation of basic infrastructure such as processing facilities across the spectrum of local food production

  • Coordinating volume and production

  • Inform decision makers of issues

This meeting was the initial collaborative effort to find solutions to issues affecting producers of local foods across the state.

More meetings are planned for 2018. An Action Plan will be developed with the local foods coalition members and SDSPA will continue to serve as facilitator. All producers, agencies, organizations and consumers are invited to participate. For more information, please contact Cory Tomovick at

Posted 2/15/2018 2:45pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) is hosting a set of work group sessions on March 1 & 2 to re-energize statewide efforts to promote and support the growing local foods movement.

The partnership session begins at 1 p.m. CST March 1st at Arrowwood Resort in Oacoma, SD. Anyone with a stake in this developing market including producers, farmer’s market managers and vendors, chefs, value-added businesses, local foods enthusiasts, and agencies are encouraged to attend.

The Thursday afternoon session will begin with partner briefings, producer input, and work group discussions to facilitate an action plan that coordinates efforts across the state. Individual partners’ organization meetings will take place in the evening. Meeting space is still available on a first come first serve basis. 

Facilitated breakout sessions on Friday morning will address specific issues/concerns facing local foods producers and businesses in South Dakota:  

  1. Farmer’s Markets - Centralized Coordination, SNAP/EBT, Food Safety
  2. Funding Your Success- Resources Available & Producer Project Experiences
  3. Food Production & Positive Solutions – Specialty Meats & Access to Processing; Pesticide Drift; Current Legislative Actions
  4. Agritourism Opportunities in South Dakota with Kirk Hulstein & Neil Wagner, SD Department of Tourism. 


Click here to register online.

Registration for SD Specialty Producers and South Dakota Beverage Producers members is $10/person for one day, $15/person for two days. Non-member fees are $15/person for one day and $25/person for two days, and $5 more per day at the door. To pay at the door, register first with Cory Tomovick no later than February 23rd. Contact her at 605-430-4699 or with questions or to reserve your organization’s meeting space. 

In addition to the coalition partnership meeting and breakout sessions, SDSPA will hold their Annual Membership Meeting on March 1 at 9:30 a.m. at Arrowwood Resort. Lunch is available on Thursday for $15; register online by February 23rd to ensure meal availability. 

To arrange for an overnight stay at Arrowwood Resort, call them at 605-734-6376 and ask for the ‘SDSPA’ room block rate. State rate is honored with valid ID at check-in.

Come grow with SDSPA! Become a member online. Joint SDSPA and SD Beverage Producers Association membership is available for a discount price. Specialty producers and local foods enthusiasts can stay up-to-date on relevant issues and educational opportunities by following SDSPA on Facebook.

Posted 2/12/2018 8:46pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The SDSPA Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 1 starting at 9:30 a.m. Central in Oacoma at Arrowwood Resort. Please register online below.

Make sure your 2018 Membership Dues are paid before the annual membership meeting so that you can fully participate in the decision-making opportunities.

Register for membership online by completing the membership form and making your payment.

Agenda items include election of Board of Director Members for expiring terms, results of ByLaws ballot voting, status of IRS Tax Exempt applications, round table discussions to gain members input for 2018 grant requests and planned project focus, and scheduling of summer field tours and workshops.

The event also includes the 2nd annual gathering for Local Foods partnership conversations during the afternoon of March 1, opportunities for local foods-related organizations to hold their own meetings on Thursday, after hours, and in-depth topic workshops on Friday, March 2. 

Registration for SDSPA/SDBPA Members is $10 for 1-day and $15 for 2-days. Non-members are welcome for $15 for 1-day and $25 for 2-days. A member luncheon will be held, Mar. 1 for $15/person. Registration is required by Feb. 22. Registration at the door is $5 more per person. 

A room block is available until 2/15 at Arrowwood Resort (formerly Cedar Shores Resort). Be sure to book your room ASAP for a special meeting rate. State-rate is honored for sleeping rooms, must present identification to qualify.

Questions? Contact Cory at Hosted by SD Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA). 

Posted 2/1/2018 4:13pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

SDSPA featured Belle Valley Ancient Grains of Newell, SD at Ag Fest in Pierre on January 24th. 

Belle Valley Ancient Grains

Owners and SDSPA members Brian & Linda Stambaugh shared their story during the event and provided samples of delicious home-baked Red Fife breads.


AgFest is an annual event sponsored by the Ag Unity coalition and provides a great opportunity to bring together SD's private, state and federal agriculture entities to share their information with state legislators, leaders, and local business people.

This was the 4th consecutive year that SDSPA has been able to host a booth & SDSPA member’s product showcase at AgFest. Thanks to Tom Barnes & Cory Tomovick for engaging AgFest participants in bread sampling and to Kim Brannen for booth support. A special thank you to Brian and Linda for representing SDSPA at the event!

Posted 1/23/2018 7:41am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

With the growing interest and demand for experiential travel and authentic vacation experiences, the South Dakota Department of Tourism is putting an emphasis on agritourism as a result of its new strategic plan. 

The department hopes to not only promote existing offerings, but also work with partners and entities across the state to assist those who are looking to start a new business or expand their existing operation to include an experience for visitors.

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.

Early on, it was clear that partnering and working together is the only way to make significant progress, each entity has an area of expertise or resources they can bring to the table. The current individuals in the work group are listed below. We’re all very excited to work with each of you as we grow agritourism in the state!

  • Kim Brannen - SD Specialty Producers Association
  • Cheri Rath – SD Value Added Ag
  • Kirk Hulstein – SD Dept. of Tourism
  • Eric Fosheim – GOED
  • Bob Weyrich – SD Dept. of Ag
  • Peggy Schlechter - SDSU Extension
  • Kari O’Neil – SDSU Extension
  • Neil Wagner – SD Dept. of Tourism
  • Ginger McNickle – Southeast Technical Institute
  • Christine Sorensen – USDA Rural Development


In January, 2018 the work group provided a booth at the Governor's Tourism Conference in Pierre. 

Working Group members Peggy Schlechter (SDSU Extension) and Bob Weyrich (SD Dept Ag) sharing information about opportunities across the state.

Tourism Conference participants provide agritourism survey info and qualify for SD Made food and beverage gift basket drawing.


SDSPA Members, Prairie Moon Herbs & The Honey Lodge, showcasing their wonderful SD products at the conference.