On Jan. 27 the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) participated in AgFest, an event that showcases traditional and innovative approaches to agriculture. This annual event takes place in Pierre during the legislative session.

AgFest is sponsored by the Ag Unity Coalition, and it provides a great opportunity to bring together South Dakota’s private, state and federal agriculture entities to share their information with state legislators, lobbyists, leaders in the industry, and local business people. This was the 6th consecutive year that SDSPA has hosted a booth to feature members’ products. 

This year our booth promoted farmers markets and how viable they are to producers in the state as a source of revenue. SPA handed out value-added samples from producers who actively participate in farmers markets. Cedar Creek Gardens, LLC operated by Peggy Martin and Bud Manke in Midland, SD provided pickled beets and pickled asparagus. Lindy and Matt Geraets of B & G Produce and the Capitol City Farmers Market Managers in Pierre served cilantro jalapeño hummus with baby carrots. Gundy’s Market of Yankton provided meat jerky samples.

Peggy and Lindy were engaged with many representatives and community interest folks. The legislators were interested in the farmers markets’ development of a coalition to increase strength for policy and regulation representation. The event is a great avenue to personally visit with many policy and regulation lawmakers. 

SDSPA announced at the event it will make a $200 donation to the S.D. Farmers Union to encourage a SDSPA member to attend the Rural Economic Leadership & Development training.  

Thanks to Peggy, Lindy and SDSPA Contractor, Pat Garrity, for engaging AgFest participants in sampling local foods and representing SDSPA at the event.