14th annual local foods conference slated Feb. 2 and 3

BISMARCK – Food safety, livestock management, business planning and tips to market and produce specialty crops are among the topics to be covered at the 14th annual meeting of the North Dakota Farmers Market & Growers Association (NDFMGA) & Local Foods Conference, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2 and 3, at the Grand Hotel, 1505 N Broadway, Minot, N.D.

The two-day conference, sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the NDFMGA, attracts growers, processors, marketers and others from across the state.

“The conference includes in-depth sessions on production practices, business development and marketing,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “There will be plenty of opportunities for participants to network with each other.”

The conference will kick off Friday, with a session on communication, followed by welcoming remarks by NDFMGA President Hero Barth. Commissioner Goehring will address the group in the afternoon.

Saturday will include an all-day workshop focused on the legalities of farming including business structure, contracts, land, farm labor, food safety, agritoursim and processing. The workshop will be led by Rachel Armstrong, an attorney specializing in diversified farming operations.

More than 20 break-out sessions are scheduled for the two days. Some of the topics include: antibiotic use in livestock, animal movement, food safety, season extension, food fermentation, succession planting, microgreen production, aquaponics, permaculture and much more.

The event is open to the public. Registration is $55 per person and includes all sessions and meals. A single-day registration is $35. Walk-ins are $10 more. Registration information is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/local-foods-conference.