Sustainable Local Foods Back »

SDSU Extension programming in sustainable local food systems is a multidisciplinary programming area involving Community Development, Food Safety, Horticulture, Livestock and Nutrition. Extension Community Development focuses on increasing access to food by helping local teams develop or enhance their community food projects. We work to provide development opportunities for local food entrepreneurs through trainings and personal coaching. Additionally, we partner on state-wide efforts to enhance the local food system of South Dakota.

For more information, visit the SDSU Extension Local Foods Program website.

Community Gardens Support

  • SDSU Extension provides coaching to teams interested in starting successful community gardens. We provide guidance on garden models, site selection, overcoming challenges, budgeting, applications and guidelines. Online webinars and training sessions are also offered. As well as Diggin’ the Dirt, Community Style a workbook communities can use for planning their project.

Food Shelves Support

  • SDSU Extension can assist you with organizing a food pantry or food distribution systems to provide food for those hungry in your community. Request a coach by contacting Tara Shafrath.


School & Youth Gardens Support

  • SDSU Extension offers guidance on establishing youth & school gardens. We offer organizational support through team coaching, curriculum assistance, access to our seed bank and youth garden grants, webinars, and face-to-face trainings.

Farmer’s Market Support

  • SDSU Extension provides guidance to communities on establishing a Farmer’s Market including information on establishment steps, regulatory agencies, market rules and by-laws and promotion.

Food to Market Possibilities

  • 6-hour interactive workshop designed for people interested in starting a food-related business. For anyone thinking about taking a food product to market—growers, producers, bakers or cooks. Topics include product development & testing, packaging, SD food safety standards, data trends, market feasibility, marketing strategies, social media, and resource providers. Request a this training by contacting Peggy Schlechter or Kari O’Neill.

Local Food Entrepreneur Courses

  • In-depth 3-hour classes (or series of classes) on various topics are available to prepare local food entrepreneurs—both growers and food processors. Topics include: Business planning, financing, financial document, community supported agriculture, farmer’s market, certified kitchens, home processed products for farmers markets, temporary food stands. Request this training by contacting Peggy Schlechter or Kari O’Neill.

Customized resources are also available to meet your Community Development Goals & Local Food Entrepreneur Development Goals.

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