BISMARCK – “Cultivate” is the theme of the 16th annual North Dakota Farmers Market & Growers Association (NDFMGA) & Local Foods Conference, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28 and 29, at the Baymont Inn, 2611 Old Red Trail, Mandan, 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.
“Past conference participants told us marketing was one of their bigger challenges, so this year’s conference includes in-depth sessions on marketing, as well as production practices and business development,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “There will also be plenty of opportunities for participants to network with each other.”
The conference will kick off Friday with welcoming remarks by NDFMGA President Ross Lockhart. Commissioner Goehring will address the group and will announce the 2019 Hunger Free North Dakota Garden Project results, along with cumulative totals.
Nearly 20 break-out sessions are scheduled for the two days. Some of the topics include: communication and collaboration techniques, fruit and vegetable diseases, getting an egg license, learning more about Pride of Dakota, soil tests, building a social media presence, grants, agritourism 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 https://www.nd.gov/ndda/events/2020-ndfmga-local-foods-conference.
An optional produce grower training session is being held prior to the conference on Thursday, Feb. 27 at the same location. Producer growers that attend will learn about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. For more information on this free session, Contact Jamie Good, local foods specialist, at 701-328-2659 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To register, go to https://www.nd.gov/ndda/psr.