8th annual local foods conference slated Feb. 3-4

BISMARCK – Agri-tourism, social media, and farm-to-school programs are on the agenda at the eighth annual Dakota Grown, a two-day conference on producing, marketing and processing locally grown foods and food products.

Sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and the North Dakota Farmers Market & Growers Association (NDFM&G), the event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3-4, at the Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S., Fargo. 

“The conference includes sessions on nuts-and-bolts farm topics such a production practices and small equipment options, as well as presentations on the economics of running a small farm, new marketing methods and using digital tools,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Participants will also have plenty of opportunities to network with other growers, processors and marketers.”

Friday's keynote speaker, Christy James of Christy James & Associates, St. Paul, MN, will discuss using the local foods movement to connect and revitalize rural communities.

Saturday's keynote speaker is Katie Pinke, NDDA's marketing and information director, who will discuss social media and how to effectively use digital tools. 

NDFM&G will hold its annual meeting on Friday afternoon in conjunction with the conference. The meeting will include installation of new board members and planning for 2012 growing season. 

Funded through a specialty crop grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the event is open to the public.  Registration is $40 per person and includes all sessions and meals. Registration information is included in a conference brochure available at www.nd.gov/ndda or by calling 701-328-4763 or emailing ndda@nd.gov.

Learn more at www.Facebook.com/GoingLocalNorthDakota or www.Twitter.com/NDlocalfoods.