Pride of Dakota slates annual meeting

“Your Business Image” is the theme for the 2014 Pride of Dakota annual meeting, Thursday and Friday, March 20-21, at the Ramada Bismarck Hotel, 1400 E. Interchange Ave., Bismarck.

“This year’s meeting will focus on improving business image through presentation, marketing and customer relations,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, who will speak at the group’s annual banquet Thursday evening. “The meeting also gives member companies an opportunity to network with one another, to develop new business, marketing and entrepreneurial skills and to learn more about the Pride of Dakota program.”

The keynote at the banquet will be leadership speaker and chalk artist Bob Upgren.

The opening session Friday features Deb Eslinger, executive director for the Center for Technology and Business, who will discuss customer service and business relationships.

North Dakota Department of Agriculture staff members Dana Hager and Kelly Wald will update member companies on new Pride of Dakota policies and the new website.

Following a break, participants can choose from a variety of breakout sessions – financial resources, interstate shipping of products, wholesaling, local sourcing, social media and branding. Presenters include representatives from USDA Rural Development, NDDA, ND Dept. of Commerce, North Dakota Highway Patrol, the Small Business Development Center, Maple River Winery & Distillery and Wild Inspire.

Pride of Dakota provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Harvest and Holiday Showcases. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. More than 500 North Dakota companies are Pride of Dakota members. The program is administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture Marketing and Information Division.

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State Capitol to host Pride of Dakota Day

More than 50 companies will transform the statehouse into a North Dakota products shopping mall during the annual Pride of Dakota Day at the State Capitol, Thursday, March 20.

“This is an opportunity for Capitol visitors, legislators and state employees to shop for high quality Pride of Dakota products and to meet the people who make them,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “You can see, sample and buy the finest in foods and condiments, decorative items, jewelry, art and much more.”

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Capitol’s Memorial Hall and Legislative Hall on the first floor and the west end of the ground floor.

Administered by NDDA’s Marketing and Information Division, the Pride of Dakota program provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Holiday Showcases. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. More than 500 North Dakota companies are Pride of Dakota members.

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My Pet Dish

When Marilyn Nielsen of Moorhead saw the My Pet Dish booth at the Pride of Dakota trade show, she immediately thought of her Shih Tzu-poodle cross Ringo.

The booth featured cups, plates, trivets, pet dishes and urns embedded with personal pet photos. Owner Dan Dietz uses a kiln to fire the images onto the products at his home studio in Fargo.

Nielsen knew something bearing Ringo’s image would make the perfect Christmas gift for her husband, Paul.

She purchased a mug as well as a trivet for her neighbors with a photo of their dog. She was so pleased with both that she’s since placed two or three additional orders.

“Because he makes them with our own pictures, it means a lot to those of us who treasure our pets,” Nielson said. “We also like to do business with a local person who does the work himself.”

Dietz got the idea for the business about four years ago when he began contemplating retirement.

He was interested in ceramics at the time. Not so much in making them, but in personalizing them. He wanted to find a way to embed photos onto existing ceramic pieces.

Incorporating his love of animals, Dietz launched My Pet Dish in 2011.

While he focused on pet photos in the beginning, Dietz said today he works with photos of just about anything. He has done merchandise for events like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, and recently completed an order of 75 mugs for a reunion.

“I think of myself as a little fishing boat and not a big ship,” Dietz said. “I can change speed and direction instantly to meet customer demand.”

Dietz is always looking for new ways to use his kiln.

“My wife says once I get something going that I lose interest, so I started slumping wine bottles, too,” Dietz said.

Slumping involves melting the bottle into a shape where it can serve as something such as a cheese tray or spoon rest.

Dietz uses his image transferring skills to embed messages and designs onto those as well. He sells them alongside the pet products at trade shows.

After more than 30 years in the corporate world and several more doing home inspections, Dietz says he is happy to be working from his own home these days.

Pet project takes off: Personalized ceramic business captures faces of people, furry friends
By: Angie Wieck, INFORUM
www.inforum.com/event/article/id/428904/

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Perfectly Nuts!

Try our newest product, Gone Nuts Granola, made with old-fashioned oats, sunflower seeds, flax meal, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, pecans, coconut flakes, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, craisins and apricots. Enjoy it right out of the bag, add it to yogurt, mix in fruit or just add a splash of milk – either way, it’s a smart and healthy snack! It is full of whole grains, nuts and fruits and is naturally sweetened with honey.

We start with 100% all natural ingredients, slow roast them and then sweeten with honey to make a granola that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack. Contains no added sugar and no artificial ingredients or preservatives.

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Buffalo Gals

With the goal of someday being big enough to employ several ‘gals’ in her businesses while keeping a rustic feel that really speaks to North Dakota, Katy Kassian started Buffalo Gals using a 100-year-old recipe.

Buffalo Gals preserves its rural agricultural history by using mainly local ingredients and hand-making each batch of delicious treats to insure freshness and quality. Kassian has always enjoyed being creative and cooking. After moving to her farm, she started using skills learned as a child to earn an income. It started out as just baking biscotti, which came from her grandmother’s recipe, and has morphed to include textiles like purses made from re-purposed burlap bags. Kassian has even done work for a few notable celebrities.

She also does custom work and is excited to help people make their ideas into a reality!

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Governor proclaims Pride of Dakota Month, Day

Gov. Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed March as Pride of Dakota Month and Thursday, March 20, as Pride of Dakota Day.

“North Dakota is a leader in the production of quality agriculture and home-crafted products for the United States and the world,” Dalrymple said. “The Pride of Dakota program serves as an important marketing tool for North Dakota companies that are competing in a global market.”

The governor noted that the Pride of Dakota program, now in its 29th year, has more than 500 active and associate members. He encouraged North Dakotans “to recognize the state’s food industry and to show their pride in and appreciation for those who produce and process the food we eat.”

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, who oversees the program, thanked the governor for the proclamation. He said special activities, including the Pride of Dakota annual meeting, March 20-21, and Pride of Dakota Day at the Capitol, March 20, are scheduled during the month.

Administered by North Dakota Department of Agriculture Marketing and Information Division, Pride of Dakota provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day, the Holiday Showcases and Harvest Showcase. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions.

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New Pride of Dakota directory now available

Products and services from more than 500 North Dakota companies can be found in the new 2014 Pride of Dakota Member Directory, published by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA).

“This is the biggest – and we think the best – member directory ever,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.  “It’s a buyer’s guide to the finest in North Dakota-made foods and condiments, gift and decorative items, jewelry, paper goods, recordings and much more.”

Goehring said each listing in the 108-page directory includes the company name, contact person, street and mailing addresses, phone number, e-mail address and website, as well as brief descriptions of the company’s business or products. Many companies have included pictures of their products or logos.

Free copies of the 2014 Pride of Dakota Membership Directory can be obtained by calling NDDA at (800) 242-7535. The information is also available on the Pride of Dakota website: www.prideofdakota.com.

Authorized by the Legislature and administered by NDDA, Pride of Dakota fosters the development and growth of small businesses and especially businesses that are farm-based or rely on agricultural commodities. Pride of Dakota member companies participate in cooperative promotion and marketing events; receive representation at local, state, regional, national, and international trade shows and take part in educational opportunities.

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Holiday Showcases draw almost 34,000 shoppers

Nearly 34,000 shoppers participated in the four Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcases in November and December 2013.

“Attendance at the Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot Showcases were all-time records,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “The Bismarck Showcase was the largest ever in the number of participating vendors.”
Goehring said the numbers reflect the growing popularity of the Pride of Dakota program with both shoppers and members.

“Every year, more North Dakotans look forward to the Holiday Showcases, knowing they will find unique, high quality products while supporting our state’s small businesses,” he said. “Pride of Dakota member companies know the showcases draw people who are specifically looking for locally-made products.”

The Fargo Showcase, Nov. 22-24, attracted 9,714 people, almost 1,200 more than the previous record. Attendance at the Grand Forks Showcase, held Nov. 9-10, was 6,331, compared to 6,053 in 2012. The Minot Showcase, held Nov. 16-17, drew 6,836 customers, an increase of 2,553 over the previous year.

Goehring said the total attendance fell only 269 short of last year’s record mark.

“Inclement weather affected the turnout at the Bismarck Showcase, where attendance was 10,876, down more than 3,200 from last year’s record total,” he said.

Many shoppers took advantage of the half-price admission offer by bringing their own reusable shopping bags.

Curtiss Kovash Jr. of Fargo and Al Stanek of Bismarck each won $250 in Pride of Dakota bucks in the Pride of Dakota passport program, sponsored by North Dakota Corn Growers Association and the North Dakota Ethanol Council.

Administered by North Dakota Department of Agriculture Marketing and Information Division, the Pride of Dakota program provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Holiday Showcases and Harvest Showcases. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. More than 500 North Dakota companies are Pride of Dakota members. More information is available at www.prideofdakota.com/.

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Holiday Showcase returns to Bismarck Civic Center

The largest-ever Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase returns to the Bismarck Civic Center, Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8.

“We will have more than 200 booths filled with a tremendous variety of North Dakota-made foods and condiments, decorative and gift items, jewelry, recordings and much more,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “It’s a great opportunity to do your holiday shopping.”

Showcase hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $2 per adult.

“Once again, shoppers will get a free, reusable cloth bag with their paid admission,” Goehring said. “Shoppers who bring their own reusable bag get $1 off their admission.”

The bag giveaway is sponsored by the Bank of North Dakota, Great River Energy and the North Dakota Ethanol Council.

“Our servicemen and women and their families also get a dollar off their admission fee by presenting their military identification,” Goehring said.

Parking is free. Goehring reminded shoppers that they should use the parking lots south of the Civic Center and to enter the facility through the south ticket entrance.

Administered by the Marketing and Information Division of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the Pride of Dakota program provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Holiday and Harvest Showcases. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. More than 500 North Dakota companies are Pride of Dakota members.

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Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase Returns to Fargo

More than 150 booths filled with Pride of Dakota merchandise will take up all available space at the Fargo Civic Auditorium during the Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase, Friday through Sunday, Nov. 22-24.

“Once again, this is our biggest show ever in Fargo,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Holiday shoppers can choose from an outstanding selection of North Dakota-made products – foods and condiments, wearing apparel, jewelry, recordings, decorative and gift items, and more.”

Showcase hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $2 per adult.

“Shoppers will get a reusable, cloth bag with their paid admission,” Goehring said. “Shoppers who bring their own reusable, cloth bag get $1 off their admission.”

The bag giveaway is sponsored by the Bank of North Dakota, Great River Energy and the North Dakota Ethanol Council.

“Our servicemen and women and their families also get a dollar off their admission fee by presenting their military identification,” Goehring said.

The final Holiday Showcase of 2013 is scheduled for Dec. 6-8, in the Bismarck Civic Center Exhibition Hall, Bismarck.

Administered by the Marketing and Information Division of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the Pride of Dakota program provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Holiday Showcases and Harvest Showcase. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. More than 500 North Dakota companies are Pride of Dakota members.

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