Local foods featured at upcoming conference

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Producers and supporters of local foods are invited to register for the 2018 South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC) and Local Foods Showcase Social Event. This regional event will provide educational sessions, tours, and networking opportunities focused on marketing, production, business, communities, food sovereignty and agritourism.

The 2018 SDLFC is scheduled for Nov. 2-3 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings. Pre-conference workshops and tours are scheduled for Nov. 1. A full schedule and details are available at http://bit.ly/SDLFC2018. The registration deadline is Oct. 26.

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.

This year’s conference features keynote speaker Mark Winne, local foods author and expert in policy and food access solutions. He 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. 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 and next steps to further South Dakota’s local food system.

Tickets are now 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 thePheasant 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 Nov. 1 pre-conference sessions and tours include small farm income diversity, aronia production, pollinators,produce safety regulations for farmers, developing a shared commercial kitchen, bridging the gap between producer and consumers perceptions of natural farming practice, the new S.D. Farm to School Handbook, and the SDSU Local Foods Education Center. All sessions require advanced registration with separate fees ranging from $10-$30 per session.

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 at http://bit.ly/SDLFC2018.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 S.D. Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, the S.D. 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 questions to conference organizers at sdlocalfoods@gmail.comor 605-697-5205 Ext. 250. Follow the conference event on the South Dakota Local Foods Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SouthDakotaLocalFoods.