BROOKINGS, S.D. - Registration is open for the 2018 South Dakota Local Foods Conference to be held November 2-3 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings with pre-conference sessions and tours offered Thursday, November 1.
"This conference provides educational programming and networking opportunities for producers, chefs, grocers, nutrition programs, consumers, local food enthusiasts and resource providers of specialty crops and other local food products," said Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.
Other components of the event include: vendor booths, a tasting event with area chefs and meals featuring local ingredients.
The Local Foods Conference is hosted by a collaboration of partners including: SDSU Extension, Dakota Rural Action, the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and USDA Rural Development. The 2018 Conference Sponsors include The Carrot Seed Kitchen, Co., Nature's Best, LLC, USDA-SARE, and Pomegranate Market.
The South Dakota Local Foods Conference will provide several pre-conference sessions and tours on Nov. 1. The sessions will be held in two locations; Good Roots Farm & Gardens (located 1 mile north of Brookings on Medary Avenue) and McCrory Gardens Visitor Center & Strawbale House (631 22nd Ave). These sessions require advance registration and additional fees beyond the conference registration.
Sessions hosted at Good Roots Farm & Garden include: Small Farm Income Diversity and Aronia Production.
Sessions hosted at McCrory Gardens Visitor Center & Strawbale House include: Natural Farming Practices, Farm to School, Pollinators - Increasing your Production, and Starting A Shared Commercial Kitchen.
These sessions will also include a tour of the facility. Participants also have the opportunity to tour the SDSU Local Foods Education Center on campus.
South Dakota Local Foods Conference details
The South Dakota Local Foods Conference is hosted at the Swiftel Center (824 32nd Ave) and includes featured speakers as well as breakout sessions.
This year's conference features keynote speaker Mark Winne, a local foods expert in policy and food access solutions.
He is the author of 'Stand Together or Starve Alone' and 'Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty.'
During his keynote, Setting the Table for South Dakota's Food Future, Winne will discuss how South Dakota can move along a path to sustainable food production that strengthens the economy and ensures access to healthy and affordable food.
He will discuss building a roadmap with a compelling vision, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and good policies.
All conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions under the following tracks: Tools for Success, Production, Food Sovereignty, Business and Marketing.
A Plenary Session will be held Nov. 2, which will bring participants together to continue the discussion on the big picture vision of local foods and discuss the next steps to be taken to further the local food system in South Dakota.
November 2 will also feature the Local Foods Showcase. This social event brings together talented area chefs to promote the local fare of South Dakota. Area restaurants and chefs will serve a variety of unique dishes, local beer and wine. Tickets are limited and sold separately from conference registration.
Nov. 2 breakout sessions
- Farm to School
- Ancient Grains Production
- Food System Development
- A Farm Entrepreneur Panel
- Local Food Policy Councils
- Rainwater Harvesting for Greenhouses
- Mentoring a Farm Transition
Nov. 3 breakout sessions
- The Feasibility of Hops Production
- Meat Processing Panel
- Chefs Panel
- Food Hubs
- Vegetables and Fruits and Human Health
- Community Kitchens
- Community Outreach and Partnerships
- Local Foods in Indian Country
- Honey Lodge Honey and Youth Advocacy
- Risk Management for Organic & Non-GMO Growers
A complete conference schedule will be available at registration. To register, visit the SD Local Foods Conference website.
Take advantage of early bird registration rates September 1 - 30. Early-bird registration for two days is $90 per person or $70 for one day.
October 1, the registration rate is $115 per person for two days and $80 for one day.
A special, two-day student rate of $70 is available to enrolled college, technical institute and university students. Proof of enrollment is required.
Registration includes general and breakout sessions, a light breakfast, snacks and lunch.