Value Added Agriculture Center Day was held Aug. 30 at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, SD. This event, hosted by the Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC) provided an opportunity for producers of specialty and niche foods to showcase their products to over 500 fair attendees.
The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) featured members at the event including Jasen & Heather Albrecht, Albrecht’s Angel Honey (Huron); Monica Pugh, Floras & Bouquets (Sioux Falls); Erica Proefrock & Alexander Hamaker, Column Greens (Spearfish); Tom Barnes, Pleasant Valley Farm (Custer); Jerry & Dixie Seaman, If Ranch Lamb & Harmony Soaps & Lotions (Newell); John Zuhlke and Kristine Brown, Little Shire Farm (Aurora); Nancy Schade, Schadé Vineyard & Winery (Volga); Stacy Roberts, Huron Farmers Market (Huron); and Kari O’Neill, Dakota Fresh Food Hub.
“This opportunity helps producers hone their marketing skills by providing a venue for salesmanship and face-to-face conversations with prospective consumers and potential new producers,” said Cory Tomovick, SDSPA Membership Coordinator. “The event also allows consumers to realize the vast variety of products that are grown and processed in South Dakota.”
The SD Ag Tourism Working Group also provided a booth and information with representatives Kirk Hulstein of the S.D. Dept. of Tourism and Peggy Schlechter of SDSU Extension. This group is working to promote existing agritourism opportunities, as well as work with partners and entities across the state to assist those who are looking to start a new business or expand existing opportunities to include a visitor experience.
In addition, educational presentations highlighted different aspects of production across the state. Albrecht presented on honey production and Barnes spoke about the South Dakota’s growing meat goat market.
SDSPA members also provided a demonstration using local foods and served approximately 120 samples to the audience. While cooking they shared highlights on the local foods industry in South Dakota, discussing the Dakota Fresh Food Hub, a group of producers in the Sioux Falls region who sells to restaurants, grocery stores and other wholesale buyers; the 2018 Local Foods Conference scheduled for Brookings Nov. 1-3; SDSPA field tours held over the 2018 growing season; and the quality of local foods found across the state.
O’Neill featured black currants grown on her property in Martin to create Black Currant Syrup, which was spooned over freshly made ice cream provided by the Midwest Dairy Producers.
Kim Brannen, Gavins Point Vineyard (Yankton), utilized fresh zucchini and yellow squash from Garden Gate LLC and Prairie Moon Herbs in Vermillion to create Zoodles, noodles made out of zucchini. She created several sauces to ladle over the zoodles including a garlic and butter sauce with fresh mozzarella, a marinara sauce, and a teriyaki sauce. Butter was purchased from Dimock Cheese.
Tomovick utilized fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes from DC Gardens(Vale), garlic from Lookout Gardens (Spearfish), basil from Tobias Gardens (Hermosa), and purple basil from Prairie Moon Herbs. See the recipe below.
Other vegetables provided by the Black Hills Farmers Market were displayed on tables in front of the audience.
Producers, processors, marketers, chefs, consumers, professional and personal groups, and anyone interested in learning more about local food production are encouraged to contact SDSPA.