South Dakota local foods supporters to gather March 1-2

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association
Farm Forum

YANKTON, S.D. – The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) is hosting its annual Local Foods Partnership Meeting March 1-2 in Mitchell. Members as well as non-member producers, farmers market managers and vendors, chefs, value-added businesses, local foods enthusiasts, and agencies are encouraged to attend. The statewide event works to promote and support the growing local foods movement.

Registration and networking will begin at 8:30 a.m. CST on March 1 at the Highland Conference Center, 2000 Highland Way, in Mitchell. The day will include a general session to review the farm bill, state legislative issues, partnership updates, and resources. Afternoon breakout sessions will feature marketing, rainwater harvesting, and disease management in grape production. Lunch is provided to pre-registered attendees.

The SDSPA Annual Membership meeting will run from 3– 4 p.m. The meeting is open to all, but current membership is required to vote. Membership must be made current before Feb. 25.

The South Dakota Local Foods Coalition meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Discussion will target re-defining the best way the Coalition can do its work. Kari O’Neill, SDSU Extension, will serve as the meeting facilitator.

On March 2 participants will gather at the SDSU Extension Mitchell Regional Center, 1800 E. Spruce Street (Mitchell Technical Institute, Nordby Building) for in-depth educational events. Lunch is provided to pre-registered attendees.

A professional grant writing workshop, ‘Writing Your Future,’ is scheduled from 8:30 a.m.— 2:15 p.m. This event, hosted by SDSU Extension and SDSPA, will feature grant writing basics, finding evidence to support your need, specific resources for local food related support, and funding opportunities.

A Farmers Market Managers meeting is scheduled for 2:30-4:30 p.m. Those managing a market and farmers market board members are encouraged to attend. For more information about this meeting contact Rhoda Burrows, SDSU Extension, at 605.394.2236 or

Pre-register online by Feb. 25 on the SDSPA website. ( The registration fee for March 1 is $15/person for SDSPA members and $20/person for non-members. The Grant Writing Workshop on March 2 is $60/person. Late or walk-in registration is an additional $5/day and does not include a meal.

SDSPA will be transitioning websites starting Feb. 16. The web link provided may be temporarily inaccessible. The website and its new design will be available Feb. 18.

SDSPA works to promote specialty crops and products; develop cooperative marketing opportunities; create opportunities for producers to market, network, and learn; market agritourism; develop South Dakota product identity; support research and serve as a venue for networking and information gathering. SDSPA is made up of growers and value-added processors of non-commodity products including produce, fruits, herbs, grapes, specialty grains, hops, honey, nursery crops and more; Chefs, agritourism promoters and other local food enthusiasts interested in supporting South Dakota specialty crops and products are active members of the organization.

Membership dues are $25 and applications for 2019 are available at the SDSPA website, Specialty producers and local foods enthusiasts can stay up-to-date on relevant issues and educational opportunities by following SDSPA on Facebook at

For more information on this event or membership contact the SDSPA membership coordinator, at