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News and Blog

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

**Attention** For those planning on attending the Meat & Egg Tour tomorrow- The 1st tours at Neubergers is still a go, but the 2nd tour at Muth's has been canceled due to an unexpected circumstance. The tour will now finish around 2:30pm. There is still plenty to see & don't forget your boots, fields are a little muddy!

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.

Click Here for full clinic details.

Speakers Include: 

  • Dr. Steve Hart, Goat Specialist at the American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Oklahoma
  • Dr. Gerado Caja, world renown small ruminant researcher, Veterinary Faculty, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr. Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist
  • Dr. Ahmed Salama, South Dakota State University Post Doc Research Associate
  • Dr. Joe Klein, South Dakota goat producer and Veterinarian owner of White Veterinary Services, White, South Dakota
  • Dr. Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor


“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
  • Jacey Jessop– SD Dept. of Tourism
  • Teri Schmidt– Sioux Falls CVB
  • Beth Simonson – B&B Innkeepers Association
  • Peggy Schlechter - SDSU Extension
  • Kari O’Neil – SDSU Extension
  • 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.

Posted 1/16/2018 11:52am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

Value Added Ag Day was held August 31 at the State Fair in Huron, SD. Many thanks to Cheri Rath and SD Value Added Agriculture Development Center intern Charlie Stephenson, and the SDVAADC Board, for inviting SDSPA producers to showcase their products. 

–°heri was able to guide the Governor along about half the booths during the event.  


This year, we featured Tom Barnes, Pleasant Valley Farm, (meat goats); Brian & Linda Stambaugh, Belle Valley Ancient Grains; Marla Bull Bear, Honey Lodge; Ryan Heine & Michelle Donner, 6th Meridian Hops; Philip Klein, Glacial Lakes Distillery, (distilled spirits); Vermillion Area Farmers Market Vendors, Linda Lane, Country Lane (produce/baked goods); Grace Freeman’s products from Prairie Moon Herbs; Stephanie Ufford, Ufford Hills LLC (produce/canned goods), Carrie Stepp, NutriRoots (fruit/berries/honey, Farm to Table education); Mitch Krebs, SD Wine Growers Association; and Kim Brannen, SD Specialty Producers Association.


Many thanks to Chef Josh Kranz from Mitchell Technical Institute’s Culinary Academy and five of the 2nd year student chefs for their demonstrations of local foods preparation and delicious samples! The local foods showcased in the Women’s Building kitchen demos came from Vermillion Area Farmers Market vendors and Cindy Nelsen.

Recipes demo’d include Wojapi capi (a hot fruit compote with blueberries and elderberries) served with fry bread, bruchetta with fresh veggies, sautéed vegetables on fresh potato slices browned in Dimock butter and garnished with grated Dimock cheese, and fresh cucumber & zucchini salad with heirloom tomatoes and colored carrots and fresh herbs in vinaigrette dressing.

The chef’s liquid nitrogen cooled fruit skewers of Forestburg cantaloupe & watermelons along with the unique Tigger melons from Cindy Nelsen’s “The Garden Gate LLC” farm were a HUGE hit with young and old alike!

Interested in SDSPA membership? For more information see our membership brochure.

Posted 1/16/2018 11:41am by SDSPA Marketing Contractor.

SDSPA members Tom Barnes, of Pleasant Valley Farm in near Custer, and Chef MJ Adams, Food Consultant in Rapid City, provided an introduction to meat goats presentation to 46 Douglas High School students in Box Elder on Jan 12. 

Barnes presented ‘Grazing Goats and the Nutritional Value of Goats Meat’ to students from the family and food science class along with high school staff. He discussed how the goats are raised and their meat quality.

Chef Adams prepared goat meat chili, which was served on rice and topped with Greek yogurt for the students to sample… one actually sampling five times! Delicious! Students were able to try a new food and learn that this meat is a healthy option— high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol.  

This producer-chef educational model is a perfect approach for students. The students enjoyed it, asking many questions, some even asking 10 questions. These interactive sessions expose the students to agricultural crops and animal husbandry they may never have considered. The sessions provide time for the students to learn directly from producers who have ‘real life’ experiences to share and also bring them together with chefs who use these local foods in their own kitchens & businesses.

The school has already asked for a repeat next year. One suggestion from Barnes is to rotate food products and crops so students can learn about a broader spectrum of agricultural products. If you are providing farm to table outreach in your community please share your story with SDSPA!

Tom Barnes and MJ Adams during NewCenter 1 interview after Douglas High School student seminar on goats meat.

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