BISMARCK – The 2011 Pride of Dakota annual meeting will be held Wednesday, March 30, at the Best Western Doublewood Inn, 1400 E. Interchange Ave., Bismarck.

“This year's agenda – the biggest ever – includes sessions on social media training, Internet marketing, business marketing ideas and financial assistance,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “An equally important part of the program is the opportunity for member companies to network with one another for news ideas.”

Speakers include Kathy Coyle, Business & Cooperative Specialist at USDA Rural Development; John Schneider, executive director of the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission; Kari Warberg Black, CEO of Earthkind; Randy Hatzenbuhler, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, and computer consultant Scott Wild.

Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Bob Christman will present the Pride of Dakota Retailer of the Year Award to Nancy Frid and Deb Wallis, owners of Vintage Point in Fargo.

Companies can also produce interviews for North Dakota Now, the Agriculture Department's weekly internet radio show, and video interviews for use on the Pride of Dakota website and on social media.

The Pride of Dakota provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Holiday Showcases. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. More than 450 North Dakota companies are Pride of Dakota members. The program is administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture business development division.