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man showing grapevines to visitors
LOCAL FOODS: Schade Winery, Volga, S.D., shows customers its grapevines.

South Dakota Local Foods Conference sessions begin Nov. 1

The conference will be held Nov. 2-3, with pre-conference tours and workshops happening Nov. 1.

The South Dakota Local Foods Conference will be held Nov. 2-3 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings with preconference sessions and tours offered Nov. 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," says 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 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.

Preconference sessions
The conference will provide several preconference 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.

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, multistakeholder collaboration and good policies.

Session details
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.

Nov. 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
• Goats
• Hydroponics
• The Feasibility of Hops Production
• Meat Processing Panel
• Chefs Panel
• Food Hubs
• Agritourism
• 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
• Conference registration

A complete conference schedule will be available at registration. To register, visit the conference's website.

Take advantage of early bird registration rates through Sept. 30. Early-bird registration for two days is $90 per person or $70 for one day.

By Oct. 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.

For more information, email sdlocalfoods@gmail.com or call 605-69-5205, ext. 250.

Follow the conference event on the South Dakota Local Foods Facebook page

Source: SDSU

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