AgriCulture on the Square: Cultivating Interest in Agriculture
“This was the first time I have ever been to the city, let alone off the farm at all. I had the time of my life meeting new people, seeing new things, and learning about other aspects of agriculture.” If Elinor the Goat could talk, we believe that is what she would say about her experience Sat., Sept. 21, 2019 at Rapid City’s AgriCulture on the Square at downtown’s hoppin’ Main Street Square.
Elinor would not be alone in this thinking either. South Dakota Specialty Producers and Pleasant Valley Farm & Cabins, LLC shared a space at this event, along with other ag-related groups such as FFA, Soil Conservationists, and Industry Suppliers.
The event was set up so that participants would receive a signature at each booth, filling up their “Ag-Passport.” A fully signed passport meant free ice cream – which meant lots of eager and smiling participants.
However, even without the incentive of SDSU provided ice cream, we would have had no trouble coaxing smiles and interest as those passing by were immediately drawn in by our ambassadors, “Rocky” and “Elinor” (last year and this year’s bottle-fed goats.)
These two friendly browsers were the hit of the day and not only gave all who came by the chance to interact with livestock in a fun and controlled environment, but also sparked interest in young and old alike for the South Dakota Specialty Producers organization and topics that are dear to our hearts, such as multi-species grazing, goats as companion animals, agri-tourism, and the push towards more sustainable living.
This was Rapid City’s first AgriCulture on the Square event, but we doubt it will be the last. The interactive booths, live music, and opportunities provided to learn and create interest in agriculture will long live in the memories of those who attended, and we can’t wait to see what next year’s event will bring, from the farm to the table.
Written by Lindsay Percival, Pleasant Valley Farm & cabins, LLC.