SDSU Local Foods Education Center to open Oct. 7

By: SDSU Extension iGrow

The grand opening of the South Dakota State University Local Foods Education Center is set for 1 p.m. next Saturday, Oct. 7.

A program and ribbon cutting will kick off the event, followed by a pumpkin rush from 1:30-3 p.m., when children of all ages are invited to pick and take home the pumpkin of their choice.

There are more than 400 pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors to choose from. Add a ZooMobile, face painting, bounce bug, SDSU ice cream, and much more, and organizers say it is sure to be an eventful afternoon for all.

SDSU officials say the Local Foods Education Center is a novel approach to addressing food security in South Dakota. The 1.2-acre outdoor classroom is dedicated to student and public teaching and learning, emphasizing hands-on field experience with small-scale food production and distribution practices.

“Most of the food harvested from this learning center has been donated to the Harvest Table of Brookings,” said David Wright, head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. “Our students produced and distributed more than 2,000 pounds of fresh produce to food-insecure residents of this city.”

The center is based on a foundation of student learning, ecosystem sustainability, and consumer access to a safe and stable food supply. There is growing consumer demand for locally produced, marketed and consumed food in the U.S., which is why local food production has become a core of the SDSU horticulture curriculum.

The SDSU Local Foods Education Center is located on Medary Avenue north of the Animal Science Arena. Parking is available north of the arena. In the event of rain, the ribbon cutting and pumpkin rush will be held in the Animal Science Arena.

For more information, contact Wright at David.Wright@sdstate.edu or 688-5123.

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