Registration Deadline Approaching for South Dakota Local Foods Conference

Registration Deadline Approaching for South Dakota Local Foods Conference

 SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –Registration is open for the 2016 South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC) scheduled for Nov. 4-5 at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell, SD. Three pre-conference sessions scheduled for Nov. 3 at Mitchell Technical Institute are also open for registration.

“Brand new this year are in-depth pre-conference sessions on hops production, grant writing, social media marketing, permaculture, and cooking with indigenous foods,” said Kim Brannen, president of the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association.

‘Hops Production 101’ features Dr. Stacy Adams, of University of Nebraska, speaking on production in Nebraska, Dr. Diana Cochran, of Iowa State University, on weed and fertility management, Dr. Cheryl Boyer, Kansas State University (via DDN) featuring online marketing and social media for small producers, Ryan Heine of 6th Meridian Hops in Yankton, Dr. Christopher Graham, SDSU Extension Agronomist, and a Growers Roundtable with North Dakota producers. This session is $35/person.

‘Social Media and Marketing’ presented by Janet Nicolaus of Mitchell Technical Institute and Kathleen Krychus of Pomegranate Market in Sioux Falls will help local food producers learn to better connect to their market through Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. This session is $45/person.

‘Grants— Resources & Technical Assistance’ will be taught by staff from the SD Value Added Ag Development Center, SD Department of Agriculture, and USDA Rural Development.  This session is $45/person.

The three pre-conference session will run from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included in the registration fee.  These sessions require advance registration by Oct 28, separate from the full conference registration.

The SDLFC provides educational programming and networking opportunities for producers, local food enthusiasts, chefs, and resource providers of specialty crops and other niche local food products.

Production, marketing, business and cooking tracks are offered during the main conference Nov. 4—5. Some sessions include production of grass fed meat, hops, meat goats, herb, and organic vegetables, beekeeping, flower farming, orchard trellis systems, seed saving, season extension, food safety, record keeping, business planning, online marketing, specialty grain marketing, a chefs panel, and the Dakota Fresh food hub.

The conference will include two keynote speakers: Daniel Halsey, a certified permaculture designer and teacher for multiple academic institutions and organizations out of Prior Lake Minnesota; and “The Sioux Chef”, Sean Sherman, who was born in Pine Ridge, SD, and is now a caterer and food educator focusing on revitalizing indigenous food systems in a modern culinary context in the Minneapolis, St. Paul area. Both presenters are also offering pre-conference workshops on Nov. 3. More information is available on the registration site.

Other components of the event include vendor booths, meals using local foods and a networking event on Friday evening. A new fourth track “In The Kitchen” will be offered at Mitchell Culinary Institute on Saturday.

The conference is meant to continue the dialogue on local foods among producers, growers, consumers, school nutrition programs, grocers, restaurants and resource providers. Anyone with an interest in local foods is encouraged to attend. Continuing Education hours are available to chefs who participate in the event.

Registration for the two-day event is $85 per person. Registration for either Friday or Saturday only is $45. Late registration, after Oct. 25 increases to $100/person for the full conference or $60/day. Visit to register and complete your online payment for any of the pre-conference sessions and the full conference.

2016 South Dakota Local Foods Conference, November 3 – 5

The SDLFC is sponsored by a collaboration of partners including the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development, Dakota Rural Action, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the South Dakota Small Business Development Center, Mitchell Technical Institute, Black Hills Food Hub, and Spearfish Local.

Direct any questions to conference organizers at Follow the South Dakota Local Foods Conference online at