10th annual local foods conference slated Feb. 14-15

BISMARCK – Packaging and labeling, improving soil health, specialty crop opportunities and craft brewing are among the topics to be covered at the 10th annual meeting of the Farmers Market & Growers Association (NDFMG) & Local Foods Conference, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, at the Grand Hotel, 1505 N. Broadway, Minot.

Sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and NDFMG, the two-day conference attracts growers, processors, marketers and others interested in locals foods from across the state.

“The conference includes sessions on production practices, business development, marketing through social media, as well as presentations on marketing techniques, such as food hubs and food tours,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “There will be plenty of opportunities for participants to network with each other.

“Following welcoming remarks by Goehring and Marvin Baker, NDFMG president, Friday's keynote speaker, Bruce Smith, Dawson County (MT) extension agent, will speak on local foods programs and projects in Montana. He will be followed by Matt Kleinhenz, Ohio State University vegetable production specialist, who will discuss plant grafting.

Saturday's speakers include Mike Frohlich, co-owner of Bismarck's Laughing Sun Brewery, and Brett Olson, co-founder and the Creative Director at Renewing the Countryside, a Minnesota-based, non-profit organization providing ideas and assistance to strengthen their rural communities and reduce poverty. 

Break-out sessions both days will address plant varieties for high tunnels, ergonomics, financing options and mitigating weather-related risk. 

NDFMG will hold its annual meeting Friday evening. 

Funded through a specialty crop grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the event is open to the public.  Registration is $50 per person and includes all sessions and meals. A single day registration is $30. Registration information is included in a conference brochure available at http://www.nd.gov/ndda or by calling 701-328-2659 or emailing ndda@nd.gov

More information is available at www.Facebook.com/GoingLocalNorthDakota or www.Twitter.com/NDlocalfoods.