Specialty Producers & Value Added Ag featured at the 2023 S.D. State Fair

During South Dakota’s State Fair in Huron, SD, specialty producers were among the many avenues of agriculture being celebrated at the Value Added Agriculture Center Day on Thurs., Aug. 31, 2023. 

The Value Added Ag Day tent was filled with agriculture and value added producers, as well as organizations that support those producers.  SDSPA members included Theresa & Donald Fink of Made By Black Ink Farms (Delmont, SD), Gwendolyn Kitzan of Kitzan Family Farm (Nisland, SD), BerryBrook Organics (Marion, SD), and Cindy Tolle Delannoy of Evergreen Ranching & Livestock (Edgemont, SD). 

State Fair attendees filled the audience to learn from SDSPA members during their demonstrations in the women’s building kitchen.  Amber Lounsbery offered a demonstration for the audience on how she makes and cans her jams & jellies. Following that, SDSU Nutrition Field Specialists Anna Barr & Claudia Botzet gave another food preservation demonstration on how to use South Dakota grown cucumbers, garlic and dill to make refrigerator pickles.  State Fair attendees were very enthusiastic to learn from Gwen Kitzan who taught how lamb is used to make the popular South Dakota ‘nosh food’- Chislic!  The final SDSPA demonstration of the day was put on again by SDSU Nutrition Field Specialists, highlighting ways to make vegetables fun- for kids and diners of all ages, by shaping vegetables into things like a green pepper car with cucumber wheels.  

These demonstrations were enjoyed by all ages, both to learn more about opportunities with local foods, and the enjoyable samples.  Thanks to Iron Fox Farms, Cedar Creek Gardens, and SDSU Local Foods Education Center for providing ingredients, and showing how attendees can enjoy in season, local vegetables!

Beyond demonstrations, there were also ample opportunities for producers, and potential producers, to visit in small groups with topics ranging from agritourism, beginning farmer-rancher resources & funding, specialty crops in South Dakota’s Local Food System, and how NRCS can assist your specialty farms. 

At the S.D. Specialty Producers Association booth, attendees could learn about our organization, and gather resources from SDSPA contractor Laura Kahler and State Urban Conservationist with NRCS, Rachel Frei.  Each visitor was also able to pick up a seed packet to try growing their own specialty crops, with seeds provided by Flowers & More (Scotland, SD).