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Agritourism Business Course graduates 38 in Kadoka

South Dakota

Thirty-eight individuals from across western South Dakota celebrated the completion of a five-week Agritourism business planning course held in Kadoka. Graduates of the course, "Agritourism: Your next cash crop?" received certificates and announced the creation and expansion of at least 15 agritourism businesses.

Elizabeth King of White River took the class and said, "I started this class with just an idea in my mind, and now I have a plan and am ready to talk to the bank. This has been a wonderful course."

"This has been an excellent course. I would recommend anyone interested in agritourism to take this course," said Thesa Ireland of Kadoka.

"Stockgrowers is very proud to be able to bring this kind of business support to our ranching families, and we're excited at the potential that these new businesses have to not only support our working ranches, but also to spur economic growth in our rural communities," said Silvia Christen, Development Director for the Stockgrowers Association. "We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their businesses and we look forward to seeing them succeed."

Fifteen of the families attending the course, including King, announced new or expanding businesses ranging from trail rides and working ranch vacations, to hunting excursions and nature tours. The course consisted of five, weekly classes each emphasizing topics such as cash flow, pricing a product, liability and insurance, marketing, webpage design, and developing an experience for the customer.

"These businesses are all at different levels of development. Some of them are just taking shape and others have already been operating for years. But, with this class, they are as ready as they'll ever be to start and operate their businesses and I'm confident that we'll see great things from these individuals," said Christen.

Jan Jantzen who facilitated the course said, "Each of these graduates have spent twenty hours in class, thinking about the type of experiences they can provide, how to market themselves, how they want to package and price that experience, and how to do it in a way that makes sense for their ranching operations. I congratulate these individuals for taking the initiative to enroll in this class and I'm very excited to see what they accomplish."

The course was supported by the SD Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Community Foundation, the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the Badlands/South Central Enterprise Facilitation, and the Badlands and the South Central RC&D Councils serving Bennett, Haakon, Jackson, Jones, Mellette, Shannon, Todd, and Tripp counties. The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is planning to host more of these classes throughout 2011. For more information about enrolling contact Silvia Christen by calling 605-342-0429.

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