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BISMARCK – The Local Foods and Pride of Dakota Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, at the Baymont Inn, 2611 Old Red Trail, Mandan, N.D.

“The conference has historically focused on local foods but is expanding to reach more small businesses by offering educational sessions for both local food producers and Pride of Dakota members,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Participants will learn methods to reach more customers and will hear a variety of marketing strategies and business planning information.”

Two tracks will be offered with one focused on growing local food companies and farmers markets, and the other on business development. Nearly 20 break-out sessions are scheduled for the two days. Some of the topics include business plans, digital marketing strategies, booth setup basics, wholesale and retail selling, farm to school, branding, SNAP at farmers markets, financial statements, high tunnel basics, trademarks, going organic, and much more.

The conference is free to attend. Pride of Dakota members, local food producers, advocates and farmers market vendors wanting to attend may register at https://forms.office.com/g/XMH15VUDRs. For more information about the conference, including session and speaker information, visit https://www.nd.gov/ndda/2022-local-foods-pride-dakota-conference.

An optional produce grower training session is being held prior to the conference on Thursday, March 3 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 further questions about either the training session or the Local Foods & Pride of Dakota Conference, please contact either Kristine Kostuck, local foods marketing specialist, at 701-328-2659 or krkostuck@nd.gov; or Katie Huizenga, Pride of Dakota specialist, at 701-328-2307 or kathuizenga@nd.gov.

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