SDSPA Contractor Feature

Kjersten Oudman, SDSPA contractor on the North Central Regional Food Business Center grant, will serve as aliaison to help create and implement solutions for South Dakota producers, distributors, and aggregators.

Kjersten Oudman, SDSPA contractor on the North Central Regional Food Business Center grant, will serve as a liaison to help create and implement solutions for South Dakota producers, distributors, and aggregators.

Kjersten Oudman is working as a consultant for SDSPA specifically with the North Central Regional Food Business Center grant, which seeks to build resilience in the local food chain. Kjersten will act as a liaison between South Dakota producers, value-added businesses, and SDSPA to help create and implement solutions for SD producers, distributors, and aggregators.

Kjersten was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD. She attended Bethel University, graduating with a degree in Environmental Science. Though not being from a farming family, she realized an interest in agriculture in college and moved to Texas to work on a training farm as a produce intern.

Kjersten met her future husband, Dirk, at the training farm and following the internship they moved to Michigan where she earned her Masters in Plant Pathology at Michigan State University. After earning her Masters degree, the Oudmans moved to Mineral Point, WI, where they farmed on a rented vegetable farm for three years, managing a CSA that sold into Chicago, IL.

In the winter of 2021, Kjersten and her family (which now included two children, Reuben and Marja) moved to South Dakota after finding a 25-acre property outside of Worthing, SD. In 2022, Kjersten and Dirk started their vegetable farm, Blue Sky Vegetable Co., and began selling Farm Shares in the Sioux Falls area. In addition to providing Farm Share members with fresh and nutritious vegetables, their Farm Share seeks to build community through offering on-farm member events and member u-pick crops.

Kjersten is passionate about community development and is excited to use her knowledge and skills to
further build up and support the local food movement in South Dakota.