Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 48.07
Liaison Debbie Liddick
Submission Date April 21, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Black Hills State University
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Katie Greer
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Spearfish Local

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Spearfish Local is a Black Hills State University initiative that brings together local producers, distributors, purchasers, and consumers of local food and other locally-sourced products. The goal of Spearfish Local is to grow support of the local economy and to work together to achieve greater things than we could as separate organizations.

We strive to support the local economy by assisting businesses to promote their products and keeping local dollars in Spearfish, assist consumers to identify local products, promote healthy eating choices with fresh produce, reduce transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions, build community resilience, connect BHSU students with community members working on local food issues, and provide real world work experience for BHSU students.

Our program launch, held June 2014, began with a strategic planning workshop and the creation of the Spearfish Local Advisory Council, comprised of representatives from various aspects of the food system. We held workshops for kids and adults (healthy snacks, organic gardening, yoga) and then finished with a free community meal. The community supper was an exercise for our university’s dining services, who worked to locate all meal ingredients from local sources. We served 400 meals of locally sourced hamburgers, salad greens, deviled eggs, cucumber and tomato salad, and rhubarb crisp. Through this meal we showed that local food is delicious and abundant. We’ve since utilized university dining services to provide local food for sustainability events held on campus.

We formed an Advisory Council for Spearfish Local with the intent to represent the wide spectrum of the local food economy and to continuously direct our program in the right direction. The Council meets several times during the year to evaluate the direction of the program. The Council’s current members include the City of Spearfish’s Mayor, the city Public Works Director, Spearfish Chamber of Commerce Director, a hospital dietitian, a producer, a retailer, a consumer (“the lazy mom”), and BHSU faculty, staff, and students.

Spearfish Local serves as an internship program for Black Hills State University students. With grant funds from the Wellmark Foundation and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, we have been able to employ 15 paid student intern positions since the summer of 2014. The students are placed in positions across the community, working on all aspects of the food economy from harvesting CSA shares at a local farm to communications for a neighboring vineyard. The interns work on their own projects but we come together as a team to work on special activities. Our interns created programming for 350 third and fourth graders including games and farm field trips to demonstrate the difference between fresh and processed food. Students are also actively working on research to understand how we can break barriers to local food purchases in Spearfish cafeterias and restaurants and by individuals.

To inform consumers on where to find local food, we developed a local food badge. Businesses that sell or cook with local food can proudly show their support of the local economy by displaying the badge in their windows. Requirements for the badge were determined by the Spearfish Local Advisory Council and the badge was designed by a BHSU graphic design student. The badge provides a way to inform healthier choices for our community and visitors. Launched December 2014, twenty-four businesses have registered for the badge, a significant number for a town with a population of 10,000.

Our current work includes research needed for our region. A graduate student is creating a geographical foodshed analysis. This project involves creating a GIS database and map of farms located in the Northern Black Hills of South Dakota. Once complete, this report will serve as the backbone for continued analysis. One example is an economic study of the financial impact local food has on the region.

We are producing a YouTube video series to promote local food. Each video features a local farmer, restaurant, or retailer that sells local food. The videos show what makes that business unique and the people and the work that goes behind growing or preparing the local product. The videos are intended for community members and tourists.

Since its launch in 2014, Spearfish Local has provided 15 paid internship positions to BHSU students, badged 24 businesses that sell local food, created 9 promotional videos for local businesses, and hosted two large events to promote local food in our community.

Summer 2014
Hills Horizon - Community Garden upkeep / Farmer’s Market Marketing Surveys
Local Food Producer Assistant - Cycle Farm
BHSU Garden and Sustainability Marketing Assistant

Fall 2014
Local Food Producer Assistant - Belle Joli Winery - marketing
Youth Garden Education Coordinator
Spearfish Local Business Outreach

Spring 2015
GIS Analyst (Foodshed analysis)
Videographer (“Know Your Farmer” promotional videos)
Business Analyst
Youth Garden Education Coordinator
Spearfish Local Community Outreach
Local Food Producer Assistant – Bear Butte Gardens

Summer/Fall 2015
GIS Analyst (Foodshed analysis)
BHSU Vegetable Garden Volunteer Coordinator

Summer 2016

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Food & Dining
Wellbeing & Work

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.