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South Dakota Local Foods Conference Registration Open

Posted 9/15/2017 5:10pm by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

The 2017 South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC) is scheduled for Nov. 3-4 at the Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center in Spearfish, SD. In addition, Thursday, Nov. 2 offers several in-depth pre-conference sessions and tours.  

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.  

The conference features keynote speaker Chef Deborah Madison, a chef, cooking instructor and cookbook author. Her latest cookbook ‘In My Kitchen’ shares 100 vegetable-focused recipes perfect for weeknight dinners to special occasions. Her keynote "If I Were Visiting South Dakota, What Would I Want to Eat?” will discuss the importance of regional foods to a place and why they can be compelling to visitors. She will provide attendees with ideas for showcasing local foods.  

The SDLFC will provide an expanded offering of pre-conference sessions and tours on Nov. 2. Sessions planned in the Spearfish area include: ‘Resources & Technical Assistance,’ ‘Local Foods & Healthcare (farm tour included),’ ‘Farm to School: Learning the Basics of Local Food Procurement (farm tour included),’ ‘SNAP at Farmers Markets,’ ‘Fruit Growing in the Upper Great Plains,’ and ‘12-Month Greenhouse.’ An additional option, ‘Organic Weed Control for Small Growers’ with farmer and consultant Atina Diffley, will be held in Rapid City. These sessions require advance registration and fees are separate from the conference registration.  

A free evening film, ‘Seeds, an Untold Story,’ sponsored by Black Hills State University Sustainability Program will show on Thursday.   The full conference, Nov. 3-4, offers marketing, production, health, and business tracks. Nov. 3 will feature ‘How to Make Local Food a Destination in Your Community’ with Tallgrass Landscape Architecture’s Matt Fridell & Tanya Olson. Additional breakout sessions include: online marketing, local foods & tourism, fruit growers & wine, meat & dairy goats, tribal local food initiatives, workamping & interns, food sovereignty, and farm to school networking.  

Friday evening will offer a ‘Dine & Discover,’ social event with appetizers, featuring chef & producer food pairings, SD beverages and networking. The social will have a separate registration fee.   Nov. 4 will offer breakout sessions showcasing a chefs panel, brewer’s panel, ancient grains, farm stands, growing organic, hydroponics, soils, creating value added products, farm record keeping, local foods in communities, food hubs, agri-tourism and more.  

Early bird registration runs Sept. 15 through Sept. 30 for the two-day event at $79 per person ($55 for one day). October 1, the registration goes to $100 per person ($75 for one day). A special students rate will be offered to currently enrolled college, technical institute and university students for $39.50/day. Proof of enrollment required. Registration includes general and breakout sessions, a light breakfast, snacks and lunch.

Register and complete your online payment for any of the pre-conference sessions and the conference.  

A block of rooms with the special conference rate is available by calling the Spearfish Holiday Inn at 605-642-4683.  

Continuing Education hours are available to chefs who participate in the conference.  

The Local Foods Conference is sponsored by a collaboration of partners including the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Dakota Rural Action, USDA Rural Development, South Dakota Small Business Development Center, SD Value Added Ag Development Center, Xanterra, Good Earth Natural Foods, American Culinary Federation Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, SARE, Ecotone Foundation, Best Day Farms, Black Hills Food Hub, Spearfish Local, Visit Spearfish, and Black Hills State University Sustainability Program.  

Anyone with an interest in local foods is encouraged to attend.

Direct any questions to conference organizers at or 605-681-6793. Visit the South Dakota Local Foods Conference Event  or for more information.  

Follow South Dakota Local Foods online.