Fleurish Flower Farm Selected as 2023 Specialty Crop Producer of the Year
Across South Dakota there are many farmers working hard to increase access to fresh, locally grown foods and products. A plethora of specialty crops including honey, cut flowers, fruits, vegetables, jams, salsas and other value added products are available across South Dakota.
This wide variety of products can be found anywhere from farm stands and farmers markets to grocery stores and restaurants. The commitment that South Dakota producers make to growing and producing their goods helps strengthen the economies, food systems, and communities in many areas across the state.
The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) and the S.D. The Dept. of Agriculture and Natural Resources moved to recognize one specialty crop producer for making an outstanding contribution to local production in South Dakota.
Congratulations to Christy Heckathorn of Fleurish Flower Farm, the 2023 S.D. Specialty Crop Producer of the Year.
Fleurish’s one acre flower farm, near Elk Point, S.D., is home to a variety of annuals, perennials and an heirloom pumpkin patch. The farm is primarily open to the public for you-pick and special events and includes a grass runway for flying enthusiasts to use to attend the farm’s events. This year the farm added a sunflower patch.
Fleurish Flower Farm hosts bi-weekly you-pick events that are highly attended and have brought people from near and far to the rural Union County flower farm. Fleurish Flower Farm’s commitment to cultivating beauty from seed to bloom, combined with their innovative marketing strategies have produced a unique outlet for Heckathorn, farm staff, and customers. Fleurish also offers wedding florals, arrangements, and ‘make-and-take’ classes.
Heckathorn is passionate about promoting agriculture through hands-on experience. She has taught classes on how to arrange your own flowers, spoke at the South Dakota State University ‘Cut Flower Camp’, and recorded a “Getting Started with Cut Flowers” podcast with SDSPA. Heckathorn is always excited to share her knowledge and experiences growing flowers with those around her.
The farm has been spotlighted across various media platforms including: 605 Magazine, Cottages & Bungalows, Dakota Farmer, Living Here, Flying Magazine and was recently part of the ‘Follow a Farmer’ series on AgWeek.
Nominees for the S.D. Specialty Crop Producer of the Year provide visionary leadership to South Dakota’s agricultural industry. They actively promote growth, innovation, and prosperity for our local food system and specialty crops. They mentor new and beginner farmers, investing in the next generation of producers.
Nominations were submitted in December and public votes were cast in January. The other two finalists included Alan Carner, Black Hills Mushrooms, Rapid City S.D. and Rodney Peachey, Prairie Lane Farm, Newell S.D.