This week is National Farmer’s Market Week — seven days dedicated to highlighting local agriculture. It’s a perfect time for farmers across the state to share home-grown meat and produce with the residents of their community. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture aims to use the time to not only celebrate these great growers but also to raise awareness about ag projects in their communities.

To celebrate the week, the NDDA is hosting three separate events, beginning with the Farmers and Artisans Market. This will feature members of the Pride of Dakota business group, who will showcase locally-grown produce and products in the State Capitol’s west parking lot.

The Pride of Dakota group, created by the Department of Agriculture, consists of over 500 companies and works to provide members with opportunities to market themselves with cooperative and promotional events like in-store demonstrations and festival days. It also serves to provide educational and growth opportunities, as well as representation at regional, national and global marketing exhibitions. More information about Pride of Dakota can be found on their website.

This first event takes place on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., and farmers will be bringing all varieties of goods in addition to appearances from North Dakota food trucks and live music. All admission is free and open to the public.

“This is a showcase for North Dakota growers and makers, giving area residents an opportunity to see the range of products made and grown right here in our state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring in a press release on the NDDA website. “The artisans market this year will feature Pride of Dakota companies and local producers with a wide range of products, including home décor, foods and condiments, apparel, personal care items, books, seasonal produce, and more. This year, we’ve added food trucks, more vendors, and music.”

In addition to the farmer’s market, the Department of Agriculture is also working to raise the next generation of growers. They’re working with farmers’ markets to promote agricultural education through their Ag in the Classroom program. When attending the farmer’s markets in both Bismarck and Minot, children will receive a free tool kit containing activities, crafts and other goodies themed after agriculture. Although the program at the Minot Farmer’s Market has already passed, there’s still time for those at BisMarket to get their own activity kit. Ag in the Classroom Day at BisMarket is Saturday, August 13, beginning at 10 a.m. at Kiwanis Park.

Looking to support your local farmers’ markets, food co-ops, orchards, or other community agriculture? You can find them easily, thanks to a handy tool created by the NDDA. The Local Foods Directory Map can help identify local growing and support opportunities and is available from the Department of Agriculture’s website.