Jessica Ruml of Pixie Acres shows Governor Kristi Noem her South Dakota grown flowers. Courtesy Pixie Acres Flower Farm.

State Fair Value Added Ag Day 2019

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) works to showcase the products of our members and local food producers across the state through a variety of venues including the SD Local Foods Conference, producer tours, the Sioux Falls Local Food Fair, and more.

Jackson Young & Lindsey Block of Young Mushrooms showcase their oysters.

The Value Added Ag Day at the State Fair in Huron is another important venue for our members, and on Aug. 29 twelve members of SDSPA made the trek to Huron to showcase their businesses and products before 500 plus fairgoers.

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. SDSPA appreciates the opportunity to partner with SD Value Added Ag Development Center to highlight our producers.

Auch Aronia Acres sharing samples of aronia juice.

Personal care product selections and honey from Sunrise Hives.

Our participating members included: Julie Auch, Auch’s Aronia Farm (Lesterville); Kiah and Carl Crowley, Sunrise Hives (Spearfish); Derek Fernholz, Fernson Brewing Company (Sioux Falls); Heidi Heikes, Heikes Farm (Vermillion); Lindsay Percival & Oliver Stubbs, Pleasant Valley Farm (Custer); Jessica Ruml, Pixie Acres (Watertown); Jeff & Jolene Stewart, Stewart’s Aronia Acres (Wagner); Jackson Young, Young Mushrooms (Spearfish); and Chelsea Stensland, Stensland Family Farm (Larchwood, IA); The SD Ag Tourism Working Group also provided a booth and information with representatives Calvin Bloemendaal with the SD Department of Tourism and Peggy Schlechter of SDSU Extension.

Fernson Brewing Company presenting on Field to Bottle Brewing.

Jolene Stewart of Stewart’s Aronia Acres sharing samples of haskaps & berries.

Participants arrived between 8 and 9 in the morning to set up their booths. Fairgoers went through the Value-Added tent throughout the day. Five different presentations highlighted different aspects of production across the state. Kiah Crowley (Sunrise Hives/Spearfish) presented “The Buzz on Bees”; Lindsay Percival (Pleasant Valley Farms/Custer) presented “Got Goats”; Derek Fernholz (Fernson’s Brewery Co./Sioux Falls) presented “From Field to Bottle – Creating Craft Beer”; Heidi Heikes (Heikes Farm/Vermillion) and Lindsay Percival (Pleasant Valley Farm/Custer) presented “Agritourism”; and Jackson Young (Young Mushrooms/Spearfish) presented “Growing Mushrooms in South Dakota.”

Chef Uriah Steber of Drifters Bar & Grille in Fort Pierre, provided a cooking demonstration utilizing locally sourced ingredients. This dish featured Tempurah Battered Cauliflower served on a cabbage leaf.

Uriah Steber, the creative culinary mind at Drifters Bar and Grille in Fort Pierre, provided a cooking demonstration utilizing locally sourced ingredients. The three dishes he created included Tempurah Battered Cauliflower served on a cabbage leaf, and a Grilled Sweet Corn Salad with Flanken Beef Spare Ribs served on a corn husk.

While adeptly demonstrating how to prepare the dishes, Uriah explained his own philosophy in utilizing local ingredients. “They taste better. Drifters Bar and Grille tries to utilize the entire animal whenever possible and sources locally. Ingredients for the restaurant also come from four raised beds just a few blocks down river at the Fort Pierre Community Gardens.” His partner in business and life, Emily, helped plate samples to serve to all the 60+ audience members. The results were pure yum! Recipes for all the dishes were also included.  Please see the SDSPA website to access the recipes. And for a wonderful dining experience, check out Drifters Bar and Grille in Fort Pierre whenever you get the chance!

Heidi Heikes of Heikes Farm shares information on their honey, fresh produce & new food hub.

Chelsea Stensland from Stensland Family Farm discussing their ice cream and cheese.

As SDSPA continues to grow, we encourage all our members to participate in events that provide opportunities to network and learn new marketing strategies. If any members wish to attend in 2020, let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Jim Schade with Schadé Winery sharing samples of aronia juice.