Thriving on the Prairie

Guest one talks about the success of the Bismarck Farmer's Market and local foods. The second conversation focuses on a mobile farmer's market on the Spirit Lake Reservation in Devil's Lake, ND.

Show Notes

Jan Stankiewicz  0:06  
Hello and welcome to Thriving on the Prairie,  a podcast exploring issues concerning families and communities that inspires North Dakota movers, shakers and community difference makers to engage in lifelong learning. I'm Jan Stankiewicz, Community Health and Nutrition Specialist with NDSU Extension. And I'm so excited to have a few guests on today. Farmers markets are an integral part of local food systems and economies across the state. With the short growing season here in North Dakota, people are always on the lookout for those canopies and truck beds set up in parks, or Greenspaces, or parking lots or on the side of the road. Today, I'm chatting with market managers of two farmers markets, Sue Balcom, with Bismarck Farmer's Market and Heidi Ziegenmeyer and Jessica Fish with Spirit Lake Mobile Farmer's Market. So let's just go ahead and jump right in. We'll start with Sue. So thanks so much for joining me on the podcast. I'm so glad you're here today. 

Sue Balcom  1:04  
I'm delighted to be asked to be with you, Jan.

Jan Stankiewicz  1:09  
This is great. So I can just I'm just so excited for our conversation. So let's start with a little bit of background for you. And you in regards to the Bismarck Farmer's Market. Where does all this start? I know you've been involved in local foods and farmer's markets for quite some time. But just tell us a little bit about how it started for you. 

Sue Balcom  1:31  
Boy, you're not gonna like this, because my history goes back a long ways. You know, sometimes you forget how old you are, and how long you've been on the planet. But when I started in local foods, officially, I didn't even know it was called local foods. And it was about 2008 when I got a job at the Ag Department as the local foods marketing specialist. But the only qualification I think I have for any of the work that I've been doing since then, including the farmer's markets, is that I have lived a local economy. I grew up in a local economy. If it wouldn't have been for gardening, when we lived in Fredonia, we would have probably had a very limited diet. But my mom was an avid gardener. My memories start way back then. And so when I found out that people were didn't know where a potato came from, or didn't know how to garden, or can I was like, What do you mean, like this is craziness. And so getting started in the local foods movement in North Dakota was really exciting. And I remember Roger Johnson, who was the ag commissioner at the time, he said to me, you don't really think Sue is going to get these people to start canning do you. And look at what's happened since then it's really taken off. And so about, oh, I'd say maybe seven years ago, I did research for a book on the German Russian food culture, because I really wanted to know how people gardened, canned, preserved, butchered, stored meat without electricity. Like, how do you bake bread with cow pies? You know, like, how do you regulate an oven? Where do you keep meat in the wintertime? Like, these are questions I really wanted to know. And in the course of all of this research, now, everybody wants to know the answers to these questions. So one of the parts of that whole scenario with the books that I did was the everlasting yeast, which is actually a sourdough starter, and all the ladies had one in their root cellar. So I thought, Oh, this is so fascinating to me, I think I'm gonna start baking bread. And so I started my culture back then. And then I ran into somebody named Diane Schmidt, who had been doing farmer's markets and Mandan. I was one of her customers for 40 years. And she encouraged me to join the farmer's market. And I did. And of course, the rest is history because I've been a street vendor for many years as an artist and this fell right into my, the way I wanted to live my life and how I wanted to make money. And so when our markets kind of like grew and split, I became the market manager for Bismarck Farmer's Market and let me tell you, that's been a real learning experience.

I can imagine I really like how you talk about like the different worlds you know, you live in a world or were raised in a world where local foods wasn't even a term because it was just your lived experience. And then being exposed to or having insight into other people's worlds where it's a completely different experience. So I just really like that you can, you know, local foods allows us to kind of step in and out of that or, or see different ways of of living and experiences that's really interesting.

Jan Stankiewicz  5:00  
So Bismarck Farmer's Market that is, of course, in Bismarck. Tell us a little bit about your role as a market manager because I think maybe, maybe some people don't know all of the work that it takes to get markets set up on Market Day. 

Sue Balcom  5:18  
Heck, I'd probably wouldn't have taken this job had I known how much work it was. 


First of all, you really, we're really strict. I hate using that word, but we're really committed to being a farmer's market. So one of the things that we require is that the people are actually growing their own vegetables, we don't do any resale. So in order to ensure that we can maintain the integrity of the market, we set ourselves up as a nonprofit corporation each, and that requires paperwork, and lots of paperwork, lots of paperwork, and annual paperwork to it didn't just stop there.

We file every year with the Secretary of State's office under our name, our official name, Bismarck Farmer's Market, and, of course, we are insured because nowadays, you can't do anything without insurance. So as a market, we have insured all of our vendors while they're on the property selling. Finding a place to have a market is sometimes a challenge. You know, we we have such a following now that the parking issue is, is almost overwhelming, like all of the people that are coming to visit the market. But you know, on a daily basis, I get phone calls, inquiring when the market is. I have to do the website updates. I do a Facebook page, we do Facebook posts all the time, not just on Saturdays, our market runs four days a week. So we're doing promos all the time. And then of course, people want to join the market. So who do they call? The market manager? And anytime anybody even has questions about where to park they call the market manager. Like, leave me alone. I'm trying to market my own stuff. Okay?

Jan Stankiewicz  7:07  

Sue Balcom  7:09  
Well, there's there's bookkeeping, you know, you have to keep track of people, you have to keep track of their membership dollars, you have to be responsible to them. So you have meetings and you report to them what you've done with their dollars and what benefit they're getting. But farmers are independent thinkers. So sometimes I think even the vendors aren't cognizant of what a market manager is doing for them behind the scenes. 

Jan Stankiewicz  7:32  
Mm hmm. Right. And that is that something to also kind of make note of is that farmer's markets operate very differently. So Bismarck Farmer's Market, sounds like you guys are very set up and like you said, committed, that's a good word. Committed to operating and having integrity around your products and your vendors. But there is differences across markets too. Other markets are more open or more forgiving or loose on their, like rules or regulations or anything. So just for, you know, shoppers or customers, it's just interesting to see the differences in how markets are operating. 

Sue Balcom  8:13  
 I kind of have a theory about that. And that is that I think sometimes people don't take us seriously. You know, I think sometimes they think that this is people that garden and they got excess produce and they're just bringing it to market to get rid of the excess. And that's not the case with our market. We vet our vendors to make sure that they are semi, if not fully, serious about becoming a business, I know that our market has been going, the vendors in our market range from age 12 to 97. And they file their taxes under farm taxes. You know, it's it's a business for us. It's not just a sideline and so part of keeping that integrity is ensuring that we have people that are really serious about this because I would certainly like to see people be able to make a living doing this and not just have to work off the farm like I do for health insurance or whatever you know.

Jan Stankiewicz  9:15  
Right? It's not just a hobby kind of a thing. Just in somebody's backyard and off a whim somebody wants to go to the farmer's market on Saturday right? It's a well thought out well-oiled machine kind of a thing. 

Sue Balcom  9:29  
I wouldn't go so far as it sounds well-oiled, but we can still get the grease.

Well and again, you know from like those external perceptions like from the outside, it looks like you guys are a well-oiled machine. So you're clearly doing something right.

So right and people don't understand truly how hard our vendors work. We have people that are there four days a week. Now in addition to planting that garden, you know, they're getting up at the crack of dawn and they're picking vegetables, they're washing and bagging, and then they go to the markets for four, six or eight hours. And then the next day, they're back to picking again, because we do markets Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It's really hard work. And we have aging vendors, I'm sorry to say I'm in that category also. But we need to, we really need to start that mentoring, we really need to start mentoring new vendors. And that is, my goal is to give generously. And you know, when somebody comes by and asks us how we do things, or where to buy bags, or where's the best deal on a canopy, we are more than willing to help them along. So that we have more vendors, and we've had, I've had a lot of fun this year with a couple of young ladies that have joined our market. And, you know, it's a little slow starting, but like I said, when you have kids and things, it's it's really a lot of work. 

It is yeah. And I like creating that culture of generosity and thinking of the next generation or succession, you know, those kinds of things, where I think sometimes, in the business world in, economics, it's kind of you think of a competitive nature, where, you can only have one type of vendor, or the more vendors, the smaller market you're going to have, but it really isn't like a truly competitive thing. It's like, it's a little bit more synergistic than I think that people might might realize. 

Yeah, that's true. That's a really good point, too. So thinking about the market this year. So Bismarck Farmer's Market this year, it's looked a little bit different than in years past for you guys. Specifically, becoming SNAP authorized, which is a huge deal. 

Oh, my God, had I known on that I might have not gone through with it.

I know. Don't make me regret inviting you here. Sue I'm just kidding. Just totally kidding. Oh, my gosh. So let's talk about SNAP and Double Up Dakota. 

All right, in you know, really on that point there. It it seems overwhelming at first, and it was a little frustrating, because there it's a federal program. And so there were some hoops jumping that we had to do. But you know what, it's gotten so much easier. And I understand it now. And so I'm working with the individual vendors to help them try and understand a little better the importance of what we're doing here.

Right, but how do you explain that to the vendors, it's counterintuitive to not write your market because they bring people and then those people bring people and then. Okay, so here's a prime example, when I did art shows, I did very high end hand woven garments like 400 to $800 jackets. And when I was the only person there I was the only person they could compare my product to. So then they couldn't make up their minds as easily as if there were five weavers there, they could go around, speak to each one of them and say, you know, this is the person I really liked their soul or I really like, you know, their artist statement or whatever. And it's easier than for the next time you're there. More people will come because they're like, oh, there's like five weavers there. I really love hand woven clothes, I think I'm gonna go see what I can find. So when you have one person doing this and one person doing that, there's just not as much comparison going on. And you know, if they come in, they don't like something that one week, they're not going to come back unless they have some choices. 

SYeah, and that's a really good so let's maybe I'm going to take it one step back. And so just let people know what SNAP is so SNAP is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It is a USDA program that individuals or families qualify for based on income and other factors. And it helps it's it provides food assistance, so dollars to help food budgets throughout the month. And, you know, just as you can go to a grocery store and use your SNAP or EBT card is what they call it. You can, a farmer's market can become an authorized retailer to accept SNAP. And like Sue mentioned there are hoops and there are forms and there are all kinds of things to get farmer's markets equipped to accept SNAP as a form of payment just as like accepting a credit or debit card. NDSU Extension had put together this project to help farmers markets become a authorized to accept SNAP. And the primary goal was, again to just increase the number of places where SNAP participants can can buy food. And the emphasis on farmer's markets was to increase access to local foods. So some grocery stores don't carry very many or no local foods at all. And so SNAP participants can now choose if they if they wish to shop at farmer's market that becomes SNAP authorized. So Sue worked with the Bismarck Farmer's Market and is now a SNAP authorized. 

Ta-da!  And I would have never even thought of it if it hadn't been for Extension's assistance. Just even being there to ask questions was huge, because I had I don't know, had a little trouble there at the start getting authorized. But now that everything falls in place, this falls totally in line with building your farmer's markets. Because if I remember correctly, this program began a long time ago, many years ago, as a way to support local farm businesses. Now a part of this was to purchase food from farmers. Because if if all the farmers disappear, everyone's going to have to dig up their backyard, because it's going to be kind of hard to find fruits and vegetables in particular. 

Jan Stankiewicz  16:22  

Sue Balcom  16:23  
Just think of how much more you can how much more business this will generate in a farmer's market. Plus, we're educating people about how to use local food, where they're getting it's healthier, you know, they're getting a really fresh product if they're coming to the market. And we've had not a great run. But we've had more people than I thought coming out with their EBT cards. And I'm like, so excited. I'm like, thank you guys for coming. This is so awesome. And then they're really delighted because of the Double Up program that was like a fringe benefit for all of us. 

Yeah, yeah. So the Double Up program is, you know, an additional source of funding, so they call it a Nutrition Incentive Program. So for every SNAP dollar that is used to purchase any SNAP eligible food at the market, the those SNAP participants and folks who use their EBT card are then given $1 for dollar match on that SNAP purchase up to $10. And those Double Up Dakota, those incentives can be used to purchase additional fruits and vegetables. So again, tying back into the access to local foods, the access to healthy, affordable foods. Those incentives really go a long way. And I really do like Sue, when you were talking about going back to why farmers and farmer's markets should or are interested in these kinds of things. Because those SNAP dollars, there is a lot of funding that goes towards those programs. And if farmer's markets can tap into even a fraction of those dollars, it truly is like an economic stimulus, like it will dramatically impact  those dollars or it can dramatically impact those dollars coming into those farmer's markets and directly to the farmers.

Right. And I think these people, I at least the customers that we've had kind of enjoy the alternative to going to a grocery store. You know, I've been just surprised like, Okay, this, on Saturday, we had a young lady there, and her mother and her son, and they came over and she bought, we use tokens at our market. So she came and used her EBT card for $20 tokens to buy product. And then I said but you're gonna get these $10 and double up and she goes, You mean I get to spend $30 at the market? And I said yes. And so her son, who was probably about four or five years old, was able to select a pumpkin from one of the vendors with those double up tokens. And he was so proud of that he carried it out of the market himself and everything. And so all of this ties into the social aspect of farmers market, which I think dinner, cooking, canning all this stuff is kind of like a community thing also. 

Yeah, it really is those there are it's personal connections. It's relational. It's more relational than it is transactional. You know, you think about buying food or paying for things or using coupons. That sounds very transactional. But it really is relational and like the social connectedness piece. Those things really do shine through. 

Right? And people say all the time, you know, like, I don't know why you work so hard or even why you're standing out here and it's only 30 degrees. Well, every time I get up on a Saturday morning at 5am, and cut flowers in the dark or something, you know, wash pumpkins in the dark. And I'm like, why am I doing this, I'm exhausted. I'm loading up my trailer. Driving to the market thinking I really would like to be home with a cup of coffee. And then that first customer shows up and I'm like, I love this. I love this interaction with people. I love that people love my stuff. Like when they come back and tell me why pickles tastes just like their grandmother's. It just like, yes! I've accomplished something really important in the world today. 

Jan Stankiewicz  20:50  
I know, right? What is it about our grandma's pickles? I have the same feeling. I hope my grandma's watching from heaven and is proud of me. 

Sue Balcom  20:59  
Oh, I know. I know. It really is those stories and connections, those things. It just It does. It makes it worth it even even in the dark and the mud. And in the work.

I think it's gonna rain one of these days on us because as you know, we're moving into winter here. But you know, we hang out until the end of October at our market. And we do do four days a week. And when we're when you know, they come in eight and they're out of produce, they leave. And for you people who are late risers, you know, you got to get with the program. 

You got to get there early. You want to be able to have any kind of selection, that's for dang sure. Yeah, so where, let's say you four days a week, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday. Where is Bismarck Farmer's Market located Sue? 

Oh, we were so absolutely fortunate to have been invited to the new Ace Hardware north, which is on the other side of 43rd Avenue. And for someone who lives in rural Morton County, I was shocked to see what's been going on for development in North Bismarck, it is in credible. 

Jan Stankiewicz  22:12  
It is nuts. 

Sue Balcom  22:12  
We were trying to get our old customers to recognize that we moved a little bit further north and some of them whined a little bit about it. It has been the best thing ever. We have a whole new clientele because there's a whole bunch of young families up there. So we're seeing new people, we're on a visible corner so that people can see the canopies and the trailers when we're there. And it's ended up being just a totally awesome thing. Because moving any kind of market is a scary thing. 

It is yeah. 

But I in my deep down in my heart, I keep thinking how much fun it would be to go back home to my little town of 400 people and have a farmer's market there, you know, talk about a community kind of thing. 

Yeah, right. I know. It definitely is a culture. It's certainly is and it's so neat to see. And you know, like we talked about a little bit earlier, the differences in that. So it would be interesting to see, you know, a farmer's market culture in Bismarck, and even that Bismarck Farmer's Market isn't the only farmer's market in Bismarck and you guys are still thriving and the other markets are doing really well. And so it's just a it is a culture. And it's really neat to see how that's kind of ebbing or flowing or shifting. 

Here's a shift I'd like to see. Sorry to interrupt, but I don't know, one of the things that we're always talking about is wouldn't it be super great if the Bismarck City Commission got together with Burleigh county commissioners and created a permanent structure, you know, canopy type thing for all the farmer's markets. And we could do this year round, like whoever had product to sell could come and set up in a little stall it could be heated or not heated or semi heated. You know, you could do some solar energy type, cover, you know, like I live the dream about making this really legitimate because as I mentioned before, I think sometimes people are like, Yeah, this isn't really a business. But it is a business. And it is a lifestyle for us that I think more people would really like to be able to do and survive. 

Yeah, you do have big vision Sue, that's for that's for sure. But right like how to create something in your community that can sustain things, you know, so it's creating those supports are those systems that can bolster it that can make it you know, a little bit easier, especially in North Dakota was such wicked weather sometimes and the growing season challenges. So if there's ways to make it a little bit more convenient or a little bit easier, or goes longer into the seasons. That's yeah, those are exciting things. 

Right? And then I think the word would spread and more and more people, including the SNAP people who sometimes I think, probably don't think about shopping at farmer's markets. Well, I shouldn't say that about that. Because I think there's people all over the city that don't think about shopping at farmer's markets. It's very European to go and buy your loaf of bread and your fresh vegetables weekly, instead of annually, and then store the stuff, you know, with preservatives in your cupboard. I'm sorry, my bad not to install preservatives. But...

Yeah, no, it is, again, it's a culture it's a it's a way of life. Definitely, definitely differences, that's for sure. But going back to that is kind of figuring out a way to, to kind of bend people towards those shifts. So maybe, maybe I'm a family who goes on a grocery shopping trip once a month, and I get all my stuff at one of the larger chain stores. But if there's ways to bend towards or to you know, like, because shifting behavior or patterns is hard, and it takes a lot of effort. And it takes a long time. So it's those kinds of things where, you know, the more exposure we have to folks shopping at a farmer's market, or even coming to the farmers market and seeing what's available, seeing, you know, talking with the people who grow the food, who make the food, who bake the things. I think that those are the really important pieces where each little exposure each little instance or circumstance can add up to, you know, longer term behaviors and patterns and those kinds of things. 

And you want that you want to cultivate, sorry to use that word again, the people who are actually doing this. So I think there were statistics out there when I was working either at farms or the Ag department about if people were just to spend five or $10 a week. Yeah, market five or $10 other grocery budget at a market every week, you would be able to support X number of small businesses and you know, in light of the pandemic, you know, people have all of a sudden panicked a little bit about the empty store shelves and things like that. So I hate to say this, but it took a pandemic to get people to even start thinking about local economies. And I'm not talking just about farmer's markets here but local economies have to do with processing too like meatpacking plants and wash and pack vegetable places which I think we have none are small processors like the Amy Gordon place in Grand Forks you know, there's there's a lot of peripheral businesses that came around the small diversified farms of the past that are no longer here, you know, farmers and like there was a creamery in the town that I grew up in, you know, I mean, there was a meatpacking plant and a creamery and all of these places that played into this local economy, which also equated into security. Like food security for the people that lived in the area, which is critical issue nowadays, because yeah, I hate to say this, but nothing breaks my heart more than hearing the statistics on the people, the young kids in North Dakota that go hungry every day. 

Right? I know it is there's so many layers in there. And it's it is heartbreaking because North Dakota being an agriculturally based state

We got it going on man, we could take over the industry, if enough of us put our heads together, we have the knowledge and the land and water. 

Right. And that's the thing too, is it's not like to, to kind of bust bust the myth of farmer's markets being like this elitist kind of environment or climate for folks shopping for food. It's not and it's certainly more of lots of us doing a little bit, not very few of us doing all of it, you know, so it is those those $5 purchases, those $10 purchases, it's not that. Very few of us ever buy all of our grocery needs from a farmer's market. But if lots of us do, you know, again with those $5 transactions, those $10 transactions, those turn into those big scale changes that we, that we're waiting for. 

Right? And I'll just keep plugging along with my little voice here, which isn't that little. 

Yes, well, Sue this has just been a tremendous pleasure. I do appreciate your time. Is there anything else that I didn't cover that you want to be sure to let folks know about?

I think we pretty much ran the gamut from back in the day to what my future outcast, or my future outlook is, or farmer's market. So just give us a try, you know, like, don't be timid to ask questions. That's, that's what we do. You know, we're in the business of educating people. And I really want to thank you again, because this SNAP thing I think can only grow for us. And I would have never done it without your help, Jan. So I really, really, really appreciate the support. And it's been a real pleasure talking with you today.

 Awesome. That's so great to hear. Sue, thank you so much. 

Thank you. 

All right. And now we have Heidi and Jessica joining us from Cankdeska Cikana Community College. Welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited that you guys are here today. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  31:13  
Thanks. We're really excited too.

Sue Balcom  31:15  
Awesome, so why don't you guys just take a little bit and tell us like who you are and what you do at Cankdeska. And with the mobile farmer's market? 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  31:25  
Yeah. Okay. So, as you said, Jan, I'm Heidi Ziegenmeyer, and I am the land grant director at Cankdeska Cikana Community College. And Jessica is my assistant land grant director and general right hand woman, Lady about town. And, and we do things for the Spirit Like community. So we are part of Cankdeska as a 1994. land grant college. So just like NDSU is an 1862 Land Grant and they do things with outreach and Extension. And education. That's the sort of the three pillars right of Land Grant and agricultural education and things we do that as well but for the tribal community. So Spirit Lake is where we are located in Fort Totten centered in Fort Totten, North Dakota. And we do things like a community garden, we till gardens for people at their homes on the reservations, we give out seeds and seedlings, we do gardening, education workshops, or even just one on one like phone calls and messages. We have student interns who are apprentices who learn how to how to garden, how to operate a tractor how to run a greenhouse and take care of all the plants on campus and grow, grow tomatoes from seed, for example. What is and is not a weed, oh my gosh, that's an aphid in the greenhouse get it, kind of thing. So, so that we do all sorts of stuff like that. And, boy, we try to do all sorts of events throughout the year, little nutrition workshops, or even like crafting workshops, seasonal things, which can be good mental health breaks, you know, and just wanted to kind of get together and breathe a sigh of relief that you know, we take a break for a moment.

Oh, like the corn maze and pumpkin patch or the or the community garden. Those were ideas of from community members that you know, things that they wanted to see like like outdoor activities for the fall or for the summer depending you know, for the community garden aspect. Because they're there were very rural, you know, North Dakota's rural. So having activities, that things that people can do, that are healthy and fun and educational, like our corn maze last year had Dakota cultural and informational history information on signs throughout the maze. So as you went through the maze, you could find the signs and learn things about Dakota culture. And it was in the shape of a buffalo or Tatanka, which is a culturally significant symbol. 

So all sorts of fun stuff we try to do to serve the community and the farmer's market to circle back to what we're talking about is one of those things that it ties in well with the community garden and the garden tilling program, it provides a venue for people to to sell their food or value added products and things

to sort of supplement their incomes. Spirit Lake is a you know, low income area. And it's also a food desert. So access to local and fresh and healthy food is very limited. There's very few access points on the reservation or if people have to go over to Devil's Lake, transportation can be an issue and so on. 

So providing a market space for, you know, local people like very local on the reservation people who can, where they can sell their, their fresh food, or their jams and whatnot. Keeping that, that that income in the community. And then also giving that that fresh access, fresh food access to to other people who might want it without having to travel too far is the whole idea. And that's why we're mobile too. Because I attended a meeting. Oh, gosh, it was COVID. Right. And the pandemic makes time just like not not even time anymore. But so I don't remember when, but, but we had a meeting and the the tribal chairman at the time or chairperson talked about services that are provided to people on the reservation and how it's really important to to not just, you know, how's that service in a building somewhere and expect people on the reservation to come to you, because transportation is an issue. They might not know where you are. If you're not from here, like I'm I'm not from here. But I do love it here. And I appreciate it here. But I'm not from here. So people don't necessarily know me and automatically know where I'm located. So to bring the market out to them to bring it, the idea is to have it at the local rec centers. There's one in each district on the reservation wellness centers or rec centers, brings it closer to people. Some of them are quite walkable from some of the areas and they could just walk up and buy food. So that's the idea behind having it be mobile and rotating through the districts, it does provide some complications in that it's, you know, having a market in a different place each week can be confusing, but we try to market very well and have it clear on the signs. And so on. So this year, though, we had it housed at the college as a central location because of well, COVID. And you know, everybody's so busy. I think everybody just understands, everybody's so busy. And trying to coordinate getting it out at the RECs where I don't even I'm not sure if the RECs are even open right now. Normally, we were trying to collaborate with a health clinic, because they do a mobile foot clinic at the same time. So we were going to do the farmer's market the same day and location and times as the mobile foot clinics. Because they have like diabetes walk ins. And again, that fresh food aspect is very good to tie into that. But they weren't doing a mobile clinics because of COVID. So it started was like well, let's just do to the colleges here. But in future. That is the plan. Yeah, and I've gone on and on now, Jan, so please ask me another question. 

Yeah, no, that's all really great information. Heidi, it's just so important to know. Because oftentimes, in I want to say like in the farmer's market world in North Dakota, but I don't think it's, you know, necessarily pertains only to farmer's market worlds. But it's so it is hard to get that information, like we're in it. And we think that everybody knows about it, or knows how to get the information about it. So having all of that background information, all of that the details just readily available, is really nice. And I think, you know, lots of times we we feel like we're being repetitive or saying too much or something. But you run into people all the time. And it's like, I never knew that. And we were thinking, oh my gosh, how like how do we need to how can we get this better? How can we get this message out to more people or so don't apologize for all the information. It's very interesting, 

I know. We can only hope that we can be that hip or something.

Hey, great. And just related to if that is something that people want to know about, especially on reservations, getting information out to people, word of mouth is, of course huge. But partnering with people is a big deal. Because there'll be long standing like special Diabetes Program, or food distribution or this there are these long standing kind of institutions that work with people on the reservation that you want to reach. And so partnering with them, including them if they want to have like a booth at your market. And then they'll market for you to write. And then like our reservation has a radio station run by the tribe and so you can record they let you for free you just record a little PSA and and they'll play it for you as many times you know, as they are able on the radio. And so that was another way that we got our information out in the past so just um, yeah, keep your eyes out for partners and different ways that people get their information. I think it's a little different sometimes on a reservation or in really rural areas. That it's not necessarily like, TikTok I mean, young people sure tick tock, you know, I'm sure. But like, I'm sorry, I'm not even on I'm not on TikTok. I'm not marketing Farmer's Market on TikTok. But maybe in the future. You know.

Jessica Fish  39:34  
young people sure TikTok, you know, I'm sure. But like, I'm sorry, I'm not even on I'm not on TikTok. I'm not marketing Farmer's Market on TikTok. But maybe in the future. You know, I'm not I know.

Jan Stankiewicz  39:43  
We can only hope that we can be that hip or some

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  39:46  
Yes, I wish I were that hip. I'm in my 30s I am not hip anymore. But like, I don't know I was playing these days ratchet that didn't even that's old, right? But that's an old word. I don't know. I don't know what the new word is for that anymore. But you know what's cool? I say cool. And that's probably not the word anymore. But again, off topic, but fun to talk about. Um, yeah, but so you got to think about your audience back to that thinking about your audience and, and how they get their information. And here we have learned word of mouth, getting some key people in the community who, who just know a lot of people, and are willing to be kinda like a champion for you is big. We had with farms last year FARRMS, that's one of our partners, was definitely bloom Hagen. And I'm them, and they're great. And they provided us with an intern for the farmer's market last year, and this year as well, are funded one that we hired locally. And our intern last year was a local person, and she was just fantastic. She knows everybody. And so she was like, sharing it on her Facebook and her posts on her flag on her personal Facebook got more likes than ours on the college page. And I was like, dang it. All right, well, you know, go you Thank you. I'm glad I know you. Um, so yeah, just find those champions look for radio stations, or whatever it is that people, you know, get their information from. 

Sue Balcom  41:18  
And, yeah. And so speaking of getting your message out, and like tapping into maybe some new audiences, this year was a little bit new for you guys. Becoming SNAP authorized. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  41:31  

Sue Balcom  41:32  
So for folks who are maybe just figuring out what we're kind of chatting about farmer's markets, at Cankdeska, but then also SNAPs, so the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, some people referred to it, or formerly known as food stamps. It's a USDA program that offers food assistance benefits to those folks who qualify -individuals and families with limited resources. And it helps like, again, stretch food budgets throughout each month, so they can purchase food. To be up for a SNAP participant, to be able to use their card, their dollars, those places where you can buy food have to become SNAP authorized. And that is a whole process. It's, you know, a federal application, all those big scary words. But Heidi and Jessica had ventured that trail with us this year. Yes. And it was a process. It's a process, but it's also it is, it's doable, we got there. But so getting that message out to folks, SNAP participants who couldn't have used their SNAP dollars at your market, like last year or any previous year, because you weren't SNAP authorized. So if you could share a little bit about, like, what that process looks like, and then moving towards, you know, getting the word out to SNAP participants and how those how those transactions or how those transactions kind of went for you during market season. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  43:15  
While the process itself, I guess I just have a noise to represent it and it was (displeasure sound) That would be my feelings about the SNAP authorization process.

Jan Stankiewicz  43:29  

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  43:31  
No, it's fine. But it's fine. It's fine. It's fine. It's fine. It's what we tell ourselves. It's fine. Everything's fine. Your your the dog sitting with the coffee cup with the flames around you. It's fine. It's fine. No anyways, but as she was super, super helpful with the training in January, you were fantastic. And then you had your your helper people I won't call them in minions, but like, you know, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm your helper, other NDSU staff who were would make site visits or check in on us like we had Gabe Nelson with Benson County or I guess that's an FNP program. Yes. Good. I'm getting it sort of. Right. Right. She would check in on us and help us as well and answer questions or, you know, point me to where I could find the information that you had already so thoughtfully provided and I just had forgotten. 

So I'm just

It was all a learning process. And that's the thing too, is learning learning along the way learning together. Yes. So my interaction with the federal government. So yes, the noise does not represent my interaction with NDSU it is representative of the my feelings regarding the federal government for this process. Um, because you know, what could be quick and easy is no, you fill in one extra box on the form which it says you have to fill in social security number. For example,. And then oh, that triggers, you have to also submit all this other information that it doesn't originally ask for on the form. But now you have to do that. And so then they kick your application back, and then back and forth, and back and forth. And then oh, and then they want to know what, what products you sell. And you can't just say fruits and vegetables, you have to say like carrots, potatoes, onions. So they'll ask you these follow up questions sometimes. And it seemed like different people, sometimes you would, because we were in this cohort group, right of different markets. And we were asked these questions, but not everybody was. So it was be prepared, I think, for the process, the emphasis on process the long time frame. But if they respond to you be aware that you only have I believe, 30 days, or they will kick you back. And you have to start all over. So they can take your time, but you cannot. is I think where what we learned from this as well. And I'm not. I used to work for government in an aspect and I can understand their side, too. But oh, you know, frustrating. 

Jan Stankiewicz  46:05  
Yeah, I know. 

Sue Balcom  46:06  
And it seems like you know, you know, in our minds, like, all we want to do is accept SNAP as payment for folks to be able to use their food dollars. And then yes, we run into the obstacles. The people work, the emails, the phone calls the wait the wait time? Yeah, it is. It is, it doesn't seem. There's lots of things in life today that are so easy. They make it so easy to do certain things. And then other things, it's just not that easy. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  46:39  
Yes. I think to myself, Well, gee, if I were designing this form, I would have done this instead, not have that or put this direction. But then, you know, there's probably reasons why they didn't I mean, the form of would probably be ended up like 40 pages long, if you know, you could put every little direction on there that I would have.

Sue Balcom  46:58  
And, and maybe some of these conversations can lead into some more informed decision making because accepting SNAP at farmer's markets across the country, it has kind of like, been a steady uptick. But specifically here in North Dakota, it's been a little bit of a slower motion forward. And so, you know, maybe some of these rumblings, some of these conversations can then, you know, move things in the direction to which we want to see. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  47:28  
Yeah, and I should sort of backtrack and say like, just because it was a process doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Doesn't mean it's not a good thing. It doesn't mean you can't do it, or that, you know, you'll automatically get denied. I think most if not all of us in there, you know, your cohort kind of made it we all got authorized, right? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, it's doable. It's not impossible. It just was frustrating at times, because, you know, we all have busy lives and have other things going on. And so then to go back and list out, oh, not just vegetables, but potatoes, carrots, onions,  I mean, you know, I just, I got cranky, but 

Jan Stankiewicz  48:06  
For sure. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  48:07  
But everyone should still do it. Accepting SNAP is important. Because access to food is important. Healthy food, local food, food that puts, you know, dollars in pockets of your neighbor. And then you get their potatoes and they're delicious. Because they they're so fresh. And then the Double Up Box, which I'm sure we'll talk about later, if not right now. 

Jan Stankiewicz  48:34  
Oh, let's do it right now.

Yeah. Thanks for the Segway Heidi. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  48:39  
Yeah. So do you want to talk on the Double Ups? Or you want me to? 

Jan Stankiewicz  48:44  
Why don't you take it - you talk. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  48:45  
Take it alright, I'm taking it. Um, so Double Ups... Double Up was like, if you bought something with your SNAP dollars, or SNAP card, then you would get up to $10. In Double Up. Like, we used hope we had tokens every day in tokens, right? Double Up tokens that you would give out that then you could turn around and it was like free money. Buy more veggies. And so we actually I think, Jessica you Jessica was my like I said my main lady. And she would help people figure out how to like even in one sitting right, maximize their SNAP dollars. 

Jessica Fish  49:23  
Yeah, so what I because a lot of people around here didn't, hadn't heard of the SNAP Double Up and weren't really familiar. And there are there are some pretty specific rules for the Double Up Bucks. You can only use them on minimally prepared fresh fruits and vegetables. So where you can use your SNAP benefits on things like fresh salsa or bread, you cannot use the double up on that. So people would come up with their order and say I've got $50 worth well, okay, spending $40 Anyway, you're going to get what you needed to get your $10 token So from there, what we can do is actually say, okay, so you're going to get $40 on your card. And then with that, you get these $10 tokens, and that will cover this $10 of potatoes or pumpkins or whatever. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  50:15  
So we were like, Yeah, spend those immediately. Yeah, let's do this. We're gonna, because it also with us, we, we only did a couple markets this fall because of various issues. And so we we wanted to, you know, not expect people to hang on to them necessarily until next year or something. So spending, you know, let's maximize that. Let's do it. Now. Let's get you as much fruits and vegetables and fresh things as possible. And I think that that was awesome for them. They really liked it. Right? 

Jessica Fish  50:45  
Yeah, it was a fantastic, and it was a great way to explain how it worked, especially for those people that had never done it before. Like, oh, okay, I see this now. That makes sense. Okay, I get it. 

Sue Balcom  50:57  
Right. And that's so cool that Jessica, that you were there to be able to, like provide that connection with people. Because lots of times that confusion, or you can have lots of apprehension around. I'm not sure how this works. I'm not sure what questions to ask. So having that person right there, I'm sure is what contributed to a lot of your success. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  51:18  
Yes, Jessica, we had Jessica, she was like our SNAP lady, you know, transaction person. And we had a whole table that was she would do the credit cards or the SNAP. And then the individual vendors would handle their cash or whatever. But we had Jessica with her table with like, different flyers and information. And like one person, I was telling him about the Double Ups. And he was like, Oh, can I spend them anywhere? And I was like, no, not anywhere. Here is, like we had a flyer with like, all the markets on the back like, these are the different markets if you were to like go to busy market. Right? And you know, you could spend it there. But but not like just on the grocery store? No. So use them now would be our advice. And we worked to help them do that. And it was it was very popular. We sold a lot of how much did we end up selling in SNAP sales and things. 

Jessica Fish  52:12  
SNAP sales, we actually had between the two markets, almost $130 of sales just for SNAP

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  52:19  

Jessica Fish  52:21  
We also we did have quite a few people who held on to their tokens, but we had about $30 worth of Double Up, come from that. And then cash and credit card, we probably had just for the booths that we were running another $300. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  52:38  
Yeah. And then we just we had a few, you know, just a small market. But I think a small market kind of popping up in the community with like a week or so notice really, we got we got some good turnout. And I'm really excited about the the SNAP sales, we also went to the we advertise in the blue building, right? The tribal building, yes, and where a lot of people will come in for like tribal business. And then also over at the social services, where they actually do the SNAP applications.You put flyers and stuff there. So people would know. And I told the staff there to like send them to our market, like we're accepting SNAP now. So they could kind of talk it up to them as well and really access those people who, who can use their SNAP dollars. 

Sue Balcom  53:26  
So yeah, I know, I think that's so important. And I think, you know, from a vendor or producer perspective, it's really nice, because you open it up to folks who like, maybe weren't even considering shopping at the market before because like, if I'm using my EBT card, I know, I've got a certain dollar amount. I'm typically, you know, knowing where I spend those dollars, moving from, you know, buying my stuff at a grocery store, or let's say in Devil's Lake, but then I'm going to try to do it at a farmer's market. And you know, having that open, welcoming, warm, you know, reception at a farmer's market, and then being able to feel like you belong or you're part of the community in that way. And then also knowing that those dollars, like you said, Heidi would benefit those farmers that you're that you're buying from and so like, you know, it's a little bit of an empowerment approach and having people feel connected and belonging, I think, you know, when we talk about SNAP dollars, and you know, those kinds of things, it makes it feel a little bit transactional. But farmer's markets are so cool, because it's very relational. And, you know, incorporating the social piece to it. So it's kind of works around some of those things. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  54:46  
You talked about warm and welcoming. And I was just thinking about, you know, students are walking past the market into the college and like, hey, farmer's market! They're like, Oh, who's that crazy lady, but you know, they kind of came over, I think.

Jan Stankiewicz  55:02  
Anyway, the ones that didn't run in. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  55:04  
Exactly, exactly. If I didn't scare them too much. Um, they, you know, my talk of tomatoes. Let's go. Anyway, um, it was it's good time so, you know, yeah, for sure. It's not you know you don't get that at Walmart. You don't get you don't get some crazy lady yelling tomatoes at you. Um, who doesn't want that?

Sue Balcom  55:33  
They're just like visions happening right now. Like, what what would that be like? 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  55:38  
Yeah, exactly like don't I want that potatoes? I don't I don't yell at people. I hope everybody out there in the podcast world is laughing as well. 

Jan Stankiewicz  55:51  
I know. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  55:52  
They're like this lady's not but

Jessica Fish  55:55  
That's the draw to the farmers market. Yes, the person. You too can come and see that person. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  56:01  
Yes. I'll be famous. They'll want my autograph. crazy lady right here. Oh, right. Okay, yeah. Another another set real?

 Yes. But that's fine. That's I mean, we're having Yeah, yeah. 

Sue Balcom  56:13  
So I wanted to chat a little bit about the, the mobile piece of your guys's market. So most farmer's markets or the side of the road in a parking lot, like with a canopy over top and your setup in a park or something? You guys are mobile, and you mentioned, you know, visiting specific districts across the reservation across the tribal nation.Like how does that work? And what so you mentioned the transportation to like the why of a mobile farmer's market. And that makes a lot of sense. But talk a little bit about how you guys function that way. And like, you know, just anything about that, because it's, it's pretty novel, actually. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  56:52  
Thanks we are so fancy. 

Um, so the mobile part, like I said, it's really important to bring opportunities out to the people. Especially in areas where poverty is an issue, transportation can really be an issue. A lot of people, gosh, you know, share vehicles don't have their own vehicle, try to get rides from others, and so on. So being able to bring the food out to them and a place where maybe they can just walk up to it or somewhere they were going anyway, like if it's to the mobile foot clinic, or were to take their kids to go play at the playground at the Rec, or something is really good. And the whys and how's I mean, so that's the why the how is really due, thankfully to our I call them our small army of interns. But we have, you know, different grants that help support us and they support the interns which get agricultural education, and all the various hands on things they do, but also in farmer's market and learning how to you know, how to run a market. They learn also about SNAP dollars and Double Ups and how to price things in a market and like if they were  ever be vendors themselves, and our interns have some of them, have turned from just interns into well, interns and community gardeners. So they had that opportunity. And I think, I'm not sure we had some produce donated from some of our, from our community gardeners. So that might have been come, some of it might have come from our interns. But anyway, so they get that kind of building knowledge, you know, that builds on itself. And being part of that market as well. So we have, but we have canopies, and tables that we provide, again, that's grant funded, and we're very thankful for that. USDA NIFA. But I'm trying to give a shout out to them. But they, we have an Extension grant through them. And part of that funds, the farmer's markets. And so we have we provide the canopies and the tables and chairs, there's no charge to be a part of our market. Again, it's just that because we're in a low income area, we're trying to help people get into doing the kind of small business thing like a farmer's market. And so adding costs, like you know, you have to provide your own canopy and tables and chairs and also pay us a fee and blah, blah, I mean, it can be a barrier. 

Jessica Fish  59:27  
For sure. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  59:28  
So we wanted to get rid of those barriers. So we provide that we we call and recruit vendors beforehand. So we have an idea of how many. We haul the stuff out there. Our interns will set it up and we have a hotspot or whatever you call it right hotspot for the credit card, you know, SNAP machine thing for us to be mobile. And it's not the easiest thing to do for sure, but I think important, worthwhile. And We've enjoyed it so far. And I think bringing it out to different areas too. We get people who, who maybe don't necessarily drive by Fort Totten, but they do drive by the rack and St. Michael, or something. And so then they'll go, Oh, hey, what's that I'm gonna go stop. And we have a big banner, you know, like, farmer's market here. Now, what we've tried to put out, you don't a conspicuous area to help people, you know, see what's going on and stop by so.

Sue Balcom  1:00:26  
Yeah, that's very cool. I really do. The mobile aspect of it is very intriguing for me. So it's kind of, you know, being from Bismarck, and we just set up and we're stuck with just stop there. You start and stop there. But yeah, I think that's so interesting. And it's also, you know, I'm sure it would be interesting, you know, being able to, like, create relationship with, you know, more community members, because clearly, you're doing it to reach more folks. So yeah, that's very cool. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:00:56  
I do have one, thank you. And I do have one, like, asterisk on the mobile aspects, should somebody else be considering that for themselves. And, you know, hopefully, no feds are listening to this. Or if they are, they will plug your ears right now. And this won't matter to them. Anyway, I did put it on my application. So you can't say it's not on there. But you have to have a specific physical location for your market, when you are applying for the SNAP thing. SNAP up step authorization, we specific ID. So when you're applying for SNAP authorization, you have to put a specific location. And then there's a note section where I said, but we are a mobile market, we also operate at these locations. So be aware of that if you're considering being mobile, that you are supposed to have one specific location that you're authorized for, but I didn't put that on my application. Nobody asked me any questions about it. I'm saying we're good.

Jan Stankiewicz  1:01:53  
I know. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:01:55  
They're so bad. But that's one little little, you know, asterisk caveat. 

Something to just think about. If you feel comfortable just putting a note and saying you're good. Yeah.

Sue Balcom  1:02:07  
Right. Yeah. And but that's, you know, even for other farmer's markets, like sometimes they have different, like set locations. Maybe they're mobile. Yeah, but they have like to like they're in one place on Saturday in one place on Wednesday or something. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:02:20  

Sue Balcom  1:02:20  
So right, but having that, you know, disclosed and then allowing, you know, the people who make decisions to figure all that out. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:02:28  
Yeah, exactly. I'm just letting them figure that out. 

But disclosing is important. So be sure to disclose all of your nuances. 

Sue Balcom  1:02:37  
Yeah, yeah. So knowing the last couple of years, you know, we can talk at length about all of the challenges over the last couple of years. So let's, let's shift it a little bit to maybe next year or the year after. So what do you guys see, for the Spirit Lake Mobile Farmer's Market next year in the following years?

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:02:59  
Well, the future is exciting, and daunting and scary and exciting again. I mostly exciting, we'll go with that. So ah, for the future, we want to expand our community garden even more. We are talking about the college leasing additional land for a larger space. And then of course, that takes grant money to help with the setup and everything because we don't have we're not generating millions on or now that it's taken millions but you know, we're not generating a lot of dollars on our own. but it's good stuff for the community. So it'll be a process but we hope to expand the community garden Oh, there's that word process again. So not just for the government, but for us to probably you know, yes, we all we all participate in that more tilling you know, garden tilling program participants,  more seed and seedling providing and so on. So that we expand our participants in those programs that then you know is the base for our vendors for our farmer's market to to build a bigger, more vendors. We had a few, not large by any means but it's a it's a process.

Sue Balcom  1:04:17  
And if you could all see Heidi right now she's building with her arms and her hands she's building it up so she's willing it 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:04:24  
Yes, I would have said wildly gesticulating but you building building it is much better. Yes. 

I'm so so that building it up is good. We also have plans to renovate our physical location here at the college to turn a classroom into a commercial kitchen space. That is approved again USDA. So that that can be both a teaching space but also a place that people can borrow kind of rent but I don't even know if we'll even charge you know, really again low income and helping and supporting people To make those value added products that they can sell at the farmers market. 

Jan Stankiewicz  1:05:06  
That is so exciting. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:05:08  
I'm excited. 

Sue Balcom  1:05:09  
I mean, that is honestly like one that is a big gap in a lot of communities is to have that space for folks to infer, you know, a commercial kitchen space allows individual producers to make products that can be sold outside of the home and into businesses and restaurants. And yes, so it really is like a like a business economical thing. So that's so exciting. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:05:35  
Yeah, we're, like, I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it was talking about it. Oh, goosebumps. Yes. Um, so that's very exciting. And then, Jessica. 

Jessica Fish  1:05:43  
So I also have a pet project with our farmer's market, because one of the things that the college does right now is in the spring, we provide seeds and seedlings, for a small fee, and seeds and seedlings are SNAP eligible products, yes, which means that we can be promoting that to the people in our community to say, look, you can spend $1 of your SNAP money to buy this tomato plant, and that tomato plant is going to produce you, I think it's like 15 pounds of tomatoes, on average. So for $1 and a little work, you're getting 15 pounds of tomatoes. And also because the Double Up program is continuing next year, when you buy $10 worth of vegetables. You're banking $10 to later buy vegetables when you need something you didn't grow. 

Sue Balcom  1:06:34  
Yeah, I really liked how you're putting that together. Jessica, that's so exciting. And I really like, you know, having those conversations with folks because, like, it just makes so much sense. And the the, like you mentioned, Heidi, lots of barriers and a lot of this work. And so when we can work proactively, like you guys do such an amazing job to remove some of those barriers make it a little bit more convenient for folks who are starting out or just figuring out how to maybe like add some income or create a business or expand something. So that's Oh, that's so exciting. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:07:11  
Oh, thanks. Yeah. And you know, it's buy this tomato for tomato plant. I mean for $1 with your SNAP dollars. Oh, and come to our gardening workshop. Oh, and then our food preservation workshops in the fall. And, you know, we it's a whole full service thing we got going. 

Jan Stankiewicz  1:07:26  
Right, right. It really takes you through the whole spectrum. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:07:31  
Yeah, yeah. It's a thing. We're, we're happy. We're proud of it. We work hard. Right? 

Jan Stankiewicz  1:07:37  
You guys do,  it is a thing. Yeah. You guys work so hard. 

Oh, thank you. 

Yes. Yeah. So hard. Well, I know Heartsong.

Sue Balcom  1:07:48  
Well, we can wrap things up a little bit. I do sincerely appreciate your guys's time. I think that it's so great to hear stories to share. I really hope it's far reaching. Is there anything else you want to leave us with anything else that we didn't cover that you want to make sure that everybody hears?

Jessica Fish  1:08:07  
Oh, I do have one thing. Shout out to NDSU. Because one of the things that Gabe provided us with was these great, just little cards about how to preserve vegetables. And so we had those all set out on a table. And I had several people going through going, you can freeze grapes? You can can potatoes? Like they had no idea you could save these things for later. And that was such a good draw for them to then go okay, well, if I could freeze these, I can buy a pound. And I'll just freeze them for later. So that was huge, too. 

Jan Stankiewicz  1:08:43  

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:08:44  
NDSU is awesome. Food nutrition program in the house. Well, yeah.

Jan Stankiewicz  1:08:49  
All right. Yes, we can definitely end on that note that. I'm so glad. I'm so glad. Thank you. 

Heidi Ziegenmeyer  1:08:56  
Thank you for inviting us. 

Sue Balcom  1:08:57  
Yeah, yes. Excellent. Thanks for listening to Thriving on the Prairie. To subscribe to the podcast and access a full transcript and resource links from this episode, visit

You can find more resources for families and communities on Extension's website at This has been a production of NDSU Extension - Extending knowledge. Changing livves. 

What is Thriving on the Prairie?

A podcast that inspires North Dakota movers, shakers and community difference-makers to engage in lifelong learning, featuring conversations with NDSU Extension professionals and guests exploring issues concerning families and communities.