Create artisan-in-residence program to further education in value-added agricultural products specific to our remote, ranching community

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2022: $3,905.00
Projected End Date: 01/15/2024
Grant Recipient: Plainsong Farm and Fiber
Region: North Central
State: South Dakota
Project Coordinator:
Eliza (Blue) Loughlin
Plainsong Farm and Fiber

Information Products


  • Nuts: walnuts
  • Vegetables: onions
  • Additional Plants: ornamentals
  • Animals: sheep
  • Animal Products: fiber, fur, leather


  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, mentoring, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: agritourism, value added
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, quality of life, social capital, values-based supply chains

    Proposal summary:

    Perkins County is one of the most isolated rural communities in the contiguous United States. The vast majority of our community members are agricultural workers, but almost everything we produce leaves our community to become part of the global supply chain. Meanwhile, it is hard for us to travel for anything other than quick supply runs to other towns.

    We want to offer our community access to high quality, in-person events and workshops with craftspeople, artists, and educators in regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices and products -- something that is usually not an option for us since we are so remote. We are just as excited to offer the artisans the opportunity to live and work with us so they can get a glimpse into a community at the origins of the supply chain. An artisan-in-residence program will present our community members with other options and perspectives in innovation and sustainability, specifically in regards to value-added products and the creation of a fiber shed, as well as potential for agri-tourism through adding artistic elements to area ranches and farms. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1.) Create an 'artisan-in-residence' program that will include direct instruction and in-person demonstrations on our ranch using locally sourced materials when possible such as fleece and both foraged and locally grown herbs, etc.

    2.) Offer a stipend to selected artisans so that demos and classes can be offered on a donation/sliding scale basis

    3.) Partner with the Bison Public Library to offer additional access in the form open classes or "visiting hours" with the artisans.


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.