Food education center getting built at South Dakota State

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — A food education center that will include small fields, a kitchen and other features is being built at South Dakota State University.

The Brookings Register reports the Local Foods Education Center will also have learning space and a high tunnel building, with an estimated $800,000 cost for the project. Work started in the fall of 2015, and when completed, it will be open to students and members of the public.

“It is certainly an outdoor classroom where students will have hands-on experiences all the way from planting to management and harvest, and there will be some activities for storage and distribution and those types of things,” said David Wright, head of the Department of Plant Science at South Dakota State University.

The center will have various species of plants. There will be instruction for students and the public in techniques in crop production, emphasizing sustainability.

A “pollinator habitat” will be among the center’s key features, Wright said. He added that the center’s main building will have a “big cooler,” a kitchen food preparation area and a place where people can eat.

Wright said the community is thrilled about the project.

“I think it really goes back to people being very aware and emotional about knowing where their food comes from because they do want fresh food, they do want quality food,” he said. “This gives the entire community an opportunity to develop those skills.”