The recently concluded South Dakota State Fair is ‘Still the One!’ The Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC) hosted Value Added Ag Day at the 2012 South Dakota State Fair on August 30th. USDA Rural Development was represented at the tent and State Director Elsie Meeks was on a panel discussion titled Growing Rural South Dakota. The discussion was focused on the respective businesses and their development and expansion of agribusiness ventures that have brought value to our agricultural producers and local-state economies. Meeks spoke on the long term partnership and support our agency has provided to the Center, provided examples of business and cooperative programs offered through USDA Rural Development, as well as USDA celebrating its 150th anniversary. Participants were able to view the timeline posters displayed inside the tent.
The Value Added Agriculture Development Center and its member contingency of rural-based commodity groups, trade organizations and cooperatives provide education and technical assistance to individuals, groups and communities.
On the Freedom Stage on Saturday, September 1st, Meeks addressed the crowd during the Farmer’s Union appreciation day event touching on the subjects of Rural Development programs, USDA 150th anniversary, and the Farm Bill. Afterwards, birthday cake was served compliments of Farmers Union, in recognition of USDA’s 150th birthday. Eight sheet cakes served an estimated 750+ people.
Happening right next door, in the women’s building was open class entries for culinary crafts and food preservation. Rural Development Business and Community Development Technician Carolyn Bloodgood had great success with receiving three blue ribbons for her classic white bread, pumpkin bars and seven layer bars. A taste event of her successful entries was held at the Huron State USDA Office where she also received many kudos for her outstanding culinary delights.