<< All News Thursday, March 7, 2024

BISMARCK – The 20th Annual Local Foods Conference will be held Thursday, March 21 through Saturday, March 23, at the North Dakota Heritage Center, 612 E. Boulevard Ave., Bismarck, ND.

“Fresh from North Dakota” is the theme of the three-day conference, which is sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association (NDFMGA).

“Past conference participants told us finding new revenue sources and consumer marketing was one of their bigger challenges, so this year’s conference includes in-depth sessions on new programs like Farm to School, 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 Thursday evening with a Fresh from North Dakota social at the North Dakota Heritage Center. The social will be catered by a local producer and feature recipes from NDDA’s Fresh from North Dakota campaign. The conference keynote speaker, Christy Rost, a nationally known chef and TV personality, will do a cooking demo for attendees. She will deliver her keynote on Saturday morning, the final day of the conference. 

Several break-out sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Some of the topics include running a successful farm with high tunnels, regional food business centers, farm to school, food safety, soil health, feeding your community and much more.

The event is open to the public. The Fresh from North Dakota social Thursday evening is $25 per person. Friday and Saturday registration is $75 per person with walk-ins $25 more. Small meals and snacks are included with all registration fees. To register, visit https://www.ndfarmersmarkets.org/conference

An optional produce grower training session is being held in conjunction with the conference on Friday, March 22, at the same location. Produce growers that attend will learn about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), co-management of natural resources and food safety. To register, go to https://forms.office.com/g/LUjWtSmVQz.

For further questions about either the training session or the Local Foods Conference, please contact Katrina Hanenberg, local foods marketing specialist, at 701-328-2659 or kmhanenberg@nd.gov

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