When you are choosing a type of business to start, or looking at expanding your business, it’s critical to do something called, “primary research.” This is taking a magnifying-glass-view of what is currently happening within the industry you’ve chosen. Luckily for us, the Internet is a wealth of information from many different sources and angles, to give you that perspective.
The 2014 South Dakota local food conference, held in Rapid City, 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.
SDSU Extension has released a complete schedule for its 2014 Private Applicator training sessions. Learn more about when and where you can take part in this training in this iGrow article.
Each city may have different policies in relation to permits, zoning and licenses for a farmers market location. If the market is going to be held on land that is publicly owned, the market will need to obtain permission from the city.
At farmers markets, growers have the option to sell produce by weight. If they choose to do so, they will need to meet the South Dakota laws regarding certified scales. South Dakota Codified Law requires any device used in a commercial transaction to be an approved NTEP (National Type Evaluation Program) device, meet the requirements of the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Handbook 44, and to be certified and sealed (inspected) by the State of South Dakota Department of Weights and Measures. This includes countertop scales, typically found at farmers markets.
South Dakota currently has about sixty farmers markets. This online guidebook was created to assist new and developing markets in the state. New content will be added to this article frequently, please check back for more information.
The Vision Statement is a picture of what the market organizers want the market to look and feel like in the future. Self-reflection is an important part of creating a meaningful statement. The process may take time. The final result should be positive and helpful with a “we are going to do this” attitude.
New and developing markets often need direction, goals and a chance to develop their identity and values. Answering the ‘who are we?’ question can be challenging. Creating a Vision and Mission Statement will help answer that question. This process can be an important momentum-building exercise for a new organization.
The Mission Statement should be a short, concise statement of strategy. It should focus on the present activities of the market. Identifying the customer is an important piece of information within the Mission Statement. The benefits to the consumer should also be explained. Include the market’s structure; for example, is the market a non-profit, vendor-owned or a cooperative?
The following iGrow Local Foods article contains everything you need to know about trademarks, copyrights, and patents.
SDSU Extension is pleased to offer guidance on establishing youth & school gardens projects in your community. We offer project coaching, curriculum assistance, access to our ‘Seed Bank Grant’ and the ‘CFEL Children’s Garden Grant,’ the ‘Youth in the Garden’ Webinar series, and other educational trainings.
Interested in starting a school garden to utilize with your students for hands-on learning. SDSU Extension is pleased to offer staff to help coach teams as they establish a school garden.
Resources for growing at your school or community garden should be shared with participants, especially those new to the process. Garden educators may be excited about using the garden as a teaching tool, but may have limited horticultural backgrounds.
Community gardens grow more than vegetables, flowers and herbs. New relationships form, people get physical exercise, and fresh local food can be provided for community members. There are many forms of community gardens.
Learn more about Native American community garden projects throughout South Dakota and access helpful resources with information on starting up Native American community garden projects.
Novice gardeners and master gardeners share a love of and respect for nature, which is one of the many reasons why they naturally seek out like-minded individuals to organize clubs or associations. Many cities and counties have their own clubs or associations and the following is not a complete listing, but rather a beginning resource for connecting with others in the gardening community.
This article provides information on food safety concerns at selling locations such as a farmers market. It also provides information on how producers should encourage their customers to treat frozen meats and poultry in order to prevent food safety issues.
Pricing your products: Survey results done at four farmers markets in Oregon identified the reasons why meat and poultry eaters did not buy meat at farmers markets. The top three reasons included: (1) It costs too much, (2) Inconvenience, and (3) Food safety concerns.
As you prepare to sell your products at a farmers market or other local venue, you will also want to remember some practices to ensure the safety and quality of your product. Most meats are sold as frozen food products and should be maintained as solid frozen products at temperatures of 20° F or below.
The wine industry in South Dakota has experienced steady growth over the past 10 years, and demand for locally grown, high-quality wine grapes is strong.
The following article contains information on producing, harvesting, grading, and marketing fresh vegetables and herbs in South Dakota.
The following article contains a complete collection of helpful resources about the production, grading, certification, verification, pricing, and safe handling of fruits.
Fresh, whole raw fruits and vegetables grown in South Dakota can currently be sold without any regulatory requirements. However, once a raw fruit or vegetable is processed, South Dakota law requires that certain regula¬tions must be followed in order to ensure the safety of the product.
If you are planning to sell eggs in the State of South Dakota, you must first obtain a yearly Egg Dealer License. The application for this license can be found and printed from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s website and costs either $100 for a Class B License, or $10 for a Class A License.
In 2010 the South Dakota “Home-Processed Foods Law” came into effect allowing for sale of home baked goods at farmer’s markets and similar venues. In 2011, a new section was added to this law expanding on the sale of home-baked goods.
This series of online articles and publications were created to assist local food producers in marketing their products. Marketing is all about communication. These articles feature different methods of communicating to reach new customers. From business cards to unique promotion ideas, this series contains plenty of ideas for food entrepreneurs.
If you don’t do at least some business via the Internet, it’s time to start. A business without a website or some type of social media page must feel at ease with how things are going without pushing for growth. Most of us are not in that position with a small business. We are much more likely to want to build our customer base, know what others are saying about us, and keep our followers coming back.
Considering starting a local food business in South Dakota? Whether you are thinking of becoming a farm marketer, a food processors or a foodservice vendor, planning out your business will help you build a strong foundation. Here are resources that will help you in the planning process.
Hospitals, nursing homes, universities and other institutional buyers have the potential for large volume sales on a recurring basis. This could create a reliable customer for the grower and also allow the grower to focus on larger production acres of a smaller number of crops.
Grocery and food retail outlets will require producers to supply larger quantities of product on a consistent basis. There will be more pressure for uniform products that meet specifications and packaging standards, depending on the size of the store. There will be variation in requirements between small niche stores and large regionally owned chains.
Farm to School is broadly defined as a program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. Every day millions of children eat at least one meal at their school.
The term “farmer’s market” is often applied to a variety of businesses and social structures. It is not uncommon to see a roadside stand labeled as such. It may also be used at a grocery store above the produce section or even within a restaurant menu.
The South Dakota local food Co-op has created an online connection of locally produced foods to consumers. The Co-op is a project of Dakota Rural Action, a grassroots family agriculture and conservation group. The cost to become a member of the South Dakota Local Foods Co-op is $53 for a lifetime membership.
CSA is short for Community Supported Agricultural, and it is an alternative market that has gained popularity across the nation as well as in South Dakota. This type of program allows a farmer to sell subscriptions or shares to customers prior to the growing season.
There are numerous regulatory agencies, applications, deadlines, and licenses that are required to sell some locally produced products. However, other products may require very few regulatory aspects. Review the specific products below for details on selling them locally.
For growers selling produce and products locally, food safety must be a priority. There are several stages where food is at risk for becoming contaminated and dangerous for customers to eat. The following articles provide links and information to growers about best practices for food safety at each stage where contamination can occur.
Many farmers markets accept only check and cash for purchases. While this system is sufficient, accepting all forms of electronic purchases can open up new opportunities for the market. First, electronic purchases will provide sales data to the market. This data can be used to track growth and understand buying patterns and trends throughout the year.
If a vendor plans to sell any kind of tangible personal property (TPP), products delivered electronically, or provide a taxable service a sales tax license must be obtained. This includes sales in person, at special events, by phone, internet, or catalog. There is no minimum sales amount required before becoming licensed. No fee is charged for a sales tax license.
Within South Dakota there are multiple departments and agencies to assist you with fulfilling required business and food safety regulations as a producer.
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.
South Dakota State University can assist with developing nutrition fact labels for products you are developing with plans to sell, or if you simply want nutrition information for your favorite recipe.
The South Dakota State Legislature passed a bill in 2010 that allowed for the sale of home baked goods and home canned foods at farmer’s markets and similar venues. Refer to the publications in this article to learn what you can do regarding this law.
The South Dakota Department of Health Office of Health Protection serves as the regulatory body enforcing the South Dakota Foodservice Code. If within the city of Sioux Falls, the Sioux Falls Department of Health is the regulatory authority for all foodservice types of establishments.