Season Extension Day in Lamberton

Cross-posted from Big Stone Bounty.

University of Minnesota’s Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) is holding a comprehensive season extension field day in Lamberton on Thursday, April 7 from 8:30am-4:30pm. Cost of the field day is $20.  Register in advance by March 30th.

Topics include high tunnel production and irrigation, troubleshooting, NRCS cost-share programming, geothermal greenhouses, using low tunnels for season extension, and marketing local food to schools.

This looks to be a comprehensive program for both producers who are already engaged in season extension and those who are interested in learning about options.  Click on the link below to view the flier (.pdf).

Season Extension flier


Extension Food Entrepreneur Workshops

Seats still available for Feb. 22, 25, and 28 Extension home-food entrepreneur

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Entrepreneurs who seek the latest information on preparing and
marketing foods they make at home can get insight at three workshops set for Feb.
22, Feb. 25, and Feb. 28.

The South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service will host each workshop. Each will
take place from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and they will be held in Montrose on Feb. 22; in
Hot Springs on Feb. 25; and in Sisseton on Feb. 28. Each workshop costs $15 and the
fee includes materials and lunch.

To take part, call the Extension office in each workshop location's county:

 *   Montrose, McCook County Extension office at 605-425-2342.
 *   Hot Springs, Fall River County Extension office at 605-745-5133.
 *   Sisseton, Roberts County Extension office at 605-698-7627.

The South Dakota Horizons project is sponsoring scholarships for participants who
want to take part but cannot afford the fee. Ask about the scholarship opportunity
when you register.

The workshops are designed for people who plan to sell foods that they have made at
home at local or regional farmers markets in South Dakota. Producers of these foods
must comply with a new South Dakota food-safety law that sets requirements for baked
goods and foods canned or processed in the home. In addition, the workshops will
help home-food producers learn marketing skills that can help them succeed in these
types of business ventures.

Among the speakers is Extension Food Safety Specialist Joan Hegerfeld-Baker. She
said the workshops are a place where  sellers can address any questions they have
about following the rules and regulations related to home-processed food sales.

"This workshop will provide critical food-safety information that producers need to
know beforethey take their products to farmers markets," Hegerfeld-Baker said.
"Extension staff at the workshops can answer their questions and be there to help
themwork through the details. We will provide the information and resources that
anyone canning, baking, or producing food in their home needs in order to meet state

Beyond learning the important aspects of South Dakota food safety standards,
participants will gain sharp insight on market feasibility, promotion, and sales.
Kari Fruechte, Extension Community Development Associate, said that newcomers to
home food preparation and sales can develop connections that can help their
home-businesses succeed.

"These workshops pack in lots of information for entrepreneurs hoping to take their
food products from their home or farm to the marketplace where they can earn extra
income," Fruechte said. "Beyond the rules and regulations, we'll take an in-depth
look at the options of available markets and the ways to best promote their

In addition to Hegerfeld-Baker and Fruechte, Extension Horticulture Specialist Rhoda
Burrows, Extension Leadership and Community Development Specialist Karla Trautman,
and Extension Community Development Educator Darah Melroe will present information
at the events.

Call Hegerfeld-Baker with other questions or to suggest other sites in South Dakota
where this sort of workshop would be beneficial at 605-688-6233.

Sally Fallon Morell in Sioux Falls Feb. 18 & 19

Sally Fallon Morell, founder & president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions, will be presenting The Oiling of America and a seminar on traditional diets seminar in Sioux Falls, SD on February 18 & 19.

For more information, e-mail or call [corrected number!] (605) 661-8642.

Local Food Meeting in Vermillion Tonight!

From the press release:

Value Added Agriculture Development Center and Buy Fresh Buy Local are conducting a series of meetings to evaluate the potential for local food distribution. The goal is to establish systems to aggregate, process, package and distribute local foods in South Dakota.

All consumers, producers, famers, businesses, schools and institutions interested in expanding the availability of local foods are invited to attend.

Vermillion’s meeting is tonight, December 13, 2010, 8:00 pm at the Vermillion Public Library, 18 Church Street.

And since I serendipitously happen to be in town on other business, I hope to see you there!

Come on Over!

I’m still writing here every once in awhile, but my main posting is now over at Big Stone Bounty.

If you’re a South Dakotan, never fear–it’s just a tippy-toe over the border into Western Minnesota. In fact, I can see South Dakota from my kitchen table.

If you’re from Minnesota, or anywhere else in the States or the wide world, I welcome you to join me there, too!

Local Foods Holiday Open House in Vermillion

Upper Missouri Valley Local Foods Market and PrairieSun Organics

invite you for a wonderful evening enjoying

homemade pies and cider made with local ingredients, organic hot teas,

beef stew, and an artisenal cheese tasting ($5) from local and regional cheese makers.


We will also have our organic Berkshire Pork 40% off one night only.

PrairieSun Organic chicken and beef will be on sale 15% off.

Give the gift of local foods this holiday season and Support your local farmers.


Thursday, December 9th from 4 – 7 pm
108B East Main Street, Vermillion, South Dakota

Oh, Eldon

How could you?

News out of Pierre reports that Eldon Nygaard, District 17 Senator-Elect, has defected to the Republican Party.

See commentary here, here, and here.

I want to add to that discussion the fact that Nygaard was elected to represent one of the bluest districts in the state.  Had he been running on the other side of the aisle, he would have lost. Period.

That seat was BJ’s (Ben Nesselhuf’s), and the fact that Nygaard won had as much (if not more) to do with Ben leaving the Dem’s District 17 Senate seat open to run for Secretary of State (and giving Eldon his support) as it did with Nygaard’s own virtues as a candidate. The idea that Nygaard can “best represent” his district by switching parties after securing those good-faith Democratic votes is ludicrous and wrong-headed in the extreme.

But Eldon has made wrong-headed decisions before–like supporting HCR 1009 while serving in the House–you know the one that said science instructors ought to engage in “balanced teaching of global warming”?  The embarrassment that earned our state “dumbest in the nation” acclaim?

I attended the cracker barrel after that one, as did a number of parents, science teachers and USD professors, to let Eldon know just exactly how far he’d strayed from representing the home district of the University of South Dakota.  Nygaard vacillated between saying he’d “pulled the wrong lever” to admitting he traded that vote for one on some anti-texting-while-driving legislation he introduced.

Either way, the crowd wasn’t satisfied with the lack of apology or real acknowledgment of the grievousness of the error, and Eldon ought to have figured that out by how few signed his Senate-run petition as they left.

You can’t even claim Nygaard made the party switch out of personal interest.  How many democratic fund-raising efforts, meetings, and GOTV efforts brought business to his Buffalo Run winery?  Dems on all levels of state government (and some on the federal level as well) considered that place their home turf for a reason, and those reasons are gone now.

This switch is far more maddeningly clueless and faithless than Nygaard’s support for HCR 1009.  District 17 Dems need to make their outrage known AND start recruiting candidates to replace those who can’t figure out on which side of the aisle their bread gets its butter.

[Wanna contend my Nesselhuf/Nygaard popularity assertion?  Let’s do.

In the 2010 election, BJ won for Secretary of State in both counties in his old Senate seat district: 62.67% of the vote in Clay County and 47.48% in Turner County as a whole (not all of which is in District 17).  By comparison, Eldon won the Clay County vote with 59.52% and lost his area of Turner County with 44.05% of votes.  Eldon won his seat with 53.42% of the overall District 17 vote.  BJ won that same seat in 2006 with 69% of the vote.

I think you could comfortably say that even though Nesselhuf is the “truer blue” of the candidates, he was, and remains, more popular than our turncoat Nygaard, even in the majority Republican part (Turner County) of District 17. Now tell us again, Eldon, about the wisdom of your strategy?]