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Riverland Ag plans “Growing Acres,” event to inspire local food culture

The Center for Agricultural and Food Science Technology at Riverland Community College has announced it will offer the first-ever “Growing Acres” event, a two-day workshop-style conference to be held Feb. 16-17 in the Center for Agricultural and Food Science Technology on the Riverland Community College – Austin West campus.

The department is partnering with others to build a culture that “values local food and niche marketing in our region. This event will create a culture that will connect locally-grown foods to community organizations and people inspired to grow, sell, utilize and purchase locally-grown foods and products,” said instructor Nick Schultz, one of the organizers.

The department is looking for exhibitors who are connected to the agriculture or niche market industry.

Some of the topics and training include farm-to-restaurant, small business marketing and management, eliminating food waste, cottage foods training, and safe food sampling, just to name a few.

There will be displays, and conversation spaces with experts on several topics.

The first day will be a “Day of Connections,” with introductions to niche markets, and local food and community conversations with a focus on stories of success. The second day will be highlight meeting requirements for growers, farmers, bakers, makers and engaging those interested in starting a small business in our region.

Registration for the event opens on Jan. 16, so those interested need to contact the department before Jan. 15. For more, go to: info@growingacres.org

Hosted by the Center for Agricultural and Food Science Technology at Riverland Community College, the event is being made possible with a grant secured from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.