Alternate ag enterprises program set January 19

Alternate ag enterprises program set January 19 Seven County Extension offices from southeast South Dakota have jointly organized a program, "Exploring Alternative Ag Enterprises," Jan. 19 at the Yankton County 4-H Center in Yankton.

Keynote speaker is Dave Welch, executive director of the National Organic Crop Improvement Association, telling what producers need to know before they "go organic."

Seven speakers, drawn from the public and private sectors as well as producer and industry sectors, are on the program that begins at 9:30 a.m. after a 9 a.m. registration.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Amy Hempstead Gales will discuss what the South Dakota Value-Added Office can do for individuals.

David Curry, president of Curry Seed Co., Elk Point, will discuss nutrient-dense corn, while T. Eric Watts of the Southeast elevator will talk about GMO's (genetically modified organisms) in the marketplace.

Following lunch, Thad Olsen will tell what services are available through the S.D. Rural Development Office, Pierre.

Bob Hall, Extension crops specialist at South Dakota State University, Brookings, will talk about "The Tried, The True and the No-Ways."

Eldon Nygaard of Valiant Vineyards, Vermillion, will explore "Researching and developing a niche market."

Reed Stronsky, an edible beans producer from Owatonna, MN., will tell about his experiences in the edible beans market.

All the speakers will join in a wrap-up discussion on "Where do we go from here?" to conclude the program around 3:15 p.m.

Sponsors of the program are the Cooperative Extension Services of Bon Homme, Clay, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Turner, Union, and Yankton Counties�all part of the South-2 Field Education Unit.

The program is one example of new and innovative multi-county programming coming about through implementation of the Vision, a plan to reorganize the Cooperative Extension Service.

For more information contact John Gille, Union County Extension educator, at (605) 356-2321. The only charge is $5 to cover the noon lunch. A call ahead will help with meal planning.

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