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Dakota College at Bottineau Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture Holly Mawby, Director Keith Knudson - Faculty Crystal Grenier, Administrative Assistant.

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Presentation on theme: "Dakota College at Bottineau Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture Holly Mawby, Director Keith Knudson - Faculty Crystal Grenier, Administrative Assistant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dakota College at Bottineau Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture Holly Mawby, Director Keith Knudson - Faculty Crystal Grenier, Administrative Assistant Bill Bittle, Farm Manager

2 Mission The Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture (ECH) located on the campus of Dakota College at Bottineau exists to assist the small to mid-size vegetable production and distribution industry within the state.

3 Mission The ECH has a triple goal of providing: – research on sustainable production methods for current and new producer businesses in North Dakota, specifically season extension; – new and expanded business opportunities, product commercialization and distribution networks in North Dakota and the Upper Great Plains; and – the technology transfer required to help these businesses flourish.

4 Research on production methods for current and new producer businesses in North Dakota

5 The goal of the on campus facilities is to: – Be a place where producers can go to experience first hand the construction and use of season extension facilities and sustainable production methods – Conduct variety trials and applied research – Gather and share data on the ‘business’ of growing

6 Facilities: – 8 High tunnels – all complete now with one growing season under our belts – Organic certified growing areas, sustainable and conservation practices utilized – One wash/pack facility –2014 – One storage facility –2014 Research on production methods for current and new producer businesses in North Dakota

7 The facilities allow the ECH to research new varieties, production methods for season extension, maximizing production, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s), safe harvest and handling methods, and organic pest controls. Research on production methods for current and new producer businesses in North Dakota

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9 New and expanded business opportunities, product commercialization and distribution networks in North Dakota Personalized and group Technical Assistance Working with groups or single producers across the state to assist with business, production, and operational planning for direct or wholesale produce distribution Individual assistance through the ECH office for marketing, distribution and networking questions

10 Through programs of the NRCS and others, almost 200 new high tunnels have sprung up across the state. These growers are new to this type of growing and need guidance in successful sustainable production and conservation methods. New and expanded business opportunities, product commercialization and distribution networks in North Dakota

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15 Direction and Administration for the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association New and expanded business opportunities, product commercialization and distribution networks in North Dakota

16 Direction and Administration for the NDFMGA – Promoting Business Start-up and Development Many vendors do not have the capital to open a retail outlet, or they perceive that they have few other marketing options – Tele-trainings and workshops on becoming a vendor and issues related to start up – grants for start up New and expanded business opportunities, product commercialization and distribution networks in North Dakota

17 North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association – Creating Opportunities to Add Value to Products Many vendors believe their market provides an opportunity to add value to their products through processing or through packaging and labeling. - spreading the word about the NDDA Mobil Processing Unit – Facilitating Product Development and Diversification Large businesses often use focus groups to provide their product developers with feedback on what consumers like and dislike about their products. Farmers' markets can provide a similar service to vendors. – Dot surveys 2008 and 2010 and market exploration grants to gather market data in 2011 and 2012, market manager training delivered online in 2012 and 2013

18 New and expanded business opportunities, product commercialization and distribution networks in North Dakota North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association – Enhancing the Customer Base Markets provide vendors an opportunity to expand the size of their customer base. They provide a stable market for their products and increased publicity for their business. – Expanding Sales and Income Markets provide vendors opportunities to earn extra income above and beyond their normal sources and help to enhance sales at other outlets, such as their own roadside stands. – NDFMGA Marketing mini grants

19 The technology transfer required to help these businesses flourish Extension Farms – four extension farms provide data to the ECH – North Star Farm – Carpio, ND – Riverbound Farm – Mandan, ND – Cutbank Creek – Upham, ND – Thompson Farm – Antler, ND Workshops and short courses offered on an as-needed basis Data collected from previous trainings show that 88% of those that participated in trainings took action that achieved the desired results as a result of what they had learned.

20 The technology transfer required to help these businesses flourish Extension Farms – – North Star Farm – Carpio, ND – Riverbound Farm – Mandan, ND – Cutbank Creek – Upham, ND – Thompson Farm – Antler, ND

21 Thus Far… The ECH has built working relationships with others for the advancement of small to mid size produce growers – The North Dakota Department of Agriculture, – The Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management and Sustainability (FARrMS), – North Dakota State University Extension Service, – The Great Plains Food Bank, and – Healthy North Dakota, a partnership formed to identify strategies to address health issues.

22 Thus Far… Through these relationships, the ECH is able to reach a large number of stakeholders, public and private, and provide technical assistance to grow the vegetable production industry and its related businesses.

23 Thus Far… The ECH has been designated as a North Dakota State Center of Excellence.

24 To The Future and Beyond… Strategic planning to identify and collect the data necessary to show economic impact Partnerships with others in the agriculture industry to ensure growth of new ventures in vegetable production and services to this special group of farmers Identification of research and technical assistance grants for submission Continue growing partnership/relationship with Wholesale Companies, food co-ops, producer co-ops and explore the food hub concept

25 To The Future and Beyond… Follow up with producers to ensure provided assistance was valuable and produces results Continuation of the on campus CSA and sales to on campus dining services Increase production and lengthen the season in our facilities and translate that to the producers Continue variety trials and applied research

26 To The Future and Beyond… Work with Dickinson State University to build online courses and amend DSU’s current courses to include small farm vegetable production integration

27 The ECH at Dakota College We work for food!


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