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    SDSU Extension Sponsors Farm Food Safety Training

    Atina Diffley, Midwest author and food safety trainer, was in Mitchell recently to share her expertise with area local food producers as they learned how to prepare their farm sites for new food safety requirements. The nearly 40 producers attended the training for two full days. They brought farm maps and learned how to provide the safest environment for the food they grow and eventually sell to consumers.

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    Marketing Food Products: Chicken-and-Egg Situation

    As food growers make decisions on expanding their production, they often find themselves in the “chicken-and-egg” situation. Does it make sense to produce more product first, and should there be a market in place first? While economics has always relied on the supply and demand model, it becomes personal and more complicated when it’s your business trying to navigate the waters.

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    The Power of Meat Labels and Marketing

    We all have bought meat products of some kind from a grocery store or local butcher. However, were you aware of all the statements and logos on that package and what they meant in terms of their impact on the dollar value of the product you purchased? During the March 2nd Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Dr. Bryon Wiegand, a Professor and Meat Science Extension Specialist at the University of Missouri, discussed the value of meat products and their label claims.

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    Meeting the Food Safety Needs of South Dakota Food Entrepreneurs

    The SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist works closely with food entrepreneurs across the state to assist them in addressing safety, regulatory and other types of product development needs. Since 2002, this position has been very successfully occupied by Dr. Joan Hegerfeld-Baker who has decided to retire as of March 21, 2016. Food entrepreneurs have several options to connect with resources within South Dakota, as well as other states, while this position is being filled.

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    Local Foods: Selling Foods that Must be Temperature Controlled

    Farmers Markets offer a unique marketing opportunity to farmers market vendors. Explore some of the regulatory aspects of licenses that a producer, vendor or market may need to apply for in order to sell a product that must be temperature controlled for safety. Farmers market vendors are exempt from licensing, unless they are selling a food that must be temperature controlled for safety.

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    2015 South Dakota Local Foods Conference Summary

    The 2015 South Dakota local food conference, held in Deadwood, provided an opportunity for producers, consumers, farmers markets, restaurants, retailers and consumers to come together to network and gain knowledge related to a variety of local foods topics. The conference is a collaborative effort of SDSU Extension, USDA Rural Development, Dakota Rural Action, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the South Dakota Small Business Development Center and the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association.

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    Dakota Fresh Funded for 2016 Opening

    In October Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced recipients of USDA grants to strengthen local food systems across the nation in an effort to revitalize rural economies and communities. SDSU Extension was chosen to receive a 2-year Local Foods Promotion Program Implementation grant, funded through USDA’s Ag Marketing Service. The grant will assist the newly organized Dakota Fresh food hub in their early stages of marketing and sales.

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    SDSU Extension Garden-Based Education Newsletter

    SDSU Extension provides regular updates for garden educators though their Garden-Based Education Newsletter. This newsletter features lesson ideas linked to core subject areas, garden stories featuring projects across the state of South Dakota, horticultural information, links to educational videos, links to current grant opportunities, and a Pick it! Try It! Like It! feature- a produce item from the garden with recipe, preparation video and supporting lesson plans.

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    Local Foods: Whole Fresh Vegetables and Herbs

    Fresh, whole raw fruits and vegetables grown in South Dakota can currently be sold without a food service license from the South Dakota Department of Health. However, once a raw fruit or vegetable has been processed (cut, cooked, canned, etc.) South Dakota law requires that certain regulations must be followed. The regulations that must be followed are based on the venue the food processor desires to market their product.

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    Local Foods: Whole Fresh Fruit

    Fresh, whole raw fruits and vegetables grown in South Dakota can currently be sold without a food service license from the South Dakota Department of Health. However, once a raw fruit or vegetable has been processed (cut, cooked, canned, etc.) South Dakota law requires that certain regulations must be followed. The regulations that must be followed are based on the venue the food processor desires to market their product.

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    Cooperative Networks in Local Foods

    Local foods communities across the nation are working together to form cooperative networks in attempt to have a large portion of local food sales while reducing inputs. Working together to streamline issues related to production processes and inputs, distribution, processing, use or consumption, recycling and disposal of food wastes, and support services to operate can all be explored as individuals begin to collaborate. These articles provide some options for exploring producer and community partnerships.

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    Additional Local Food Marketing Venues

    Local food producers have a variety of options for marketing their products. Consider on-farms sales for those interested in connecting directly with the consumer at the farm. The set-up could include a farm store, a U-pick or Pick-Your-Own operation and other agritourism components. These features will be appealing to people seeking extremely fresh produce, canners and cooks that are seeking large quantities of product at a reduced cost, and families looking for a weekend activity, wanting their children to experience farm life and food production.

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    Local Food & Product Regulations: Certified Organic

    According to the United State Department of Agriculture National Organic Program, “Organic is a labeling term that specifies that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through accepted methods using cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

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