N.D. Tourism hopes to grow agritourism

BISMARCK – The state Tourism Division wants more North Dakotans to get involved in agritourism, an industry it says is in big demand right now.

The first “rolling workshop” is set for Oct. 18 and is designed for people interested in starting or expanding an agritourism business.

The workshop will take participants to successful agritourism sites across North Dakota. Along the way, they will take part in educational seminars covering topics ranging from licensing to taxes to promotion.

Visits to ranches are popular with international tourists, said Dean Ihla, North Dakota Tourism development manager. In addition, more people are interested in knowing where their food comes from as the population becomes more urban, he said.

The workshop departs from Bismarck and is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sites confirmed are Riverbound Farm south of Mandan, Papa’s Pumpkin Patch in Bismarck, Midstate Lodges near McClusky and Rolling Plains Adventures of rural McKenzie.

The cost is $50 per person, with an additional $20 for a family or business partner. Registration includes a resource guide and related materials, noon meal and transportation. Limited space is available.

If there’s enough interest, additional workshops will be offered in the future, Ihla said.

For more information, contact Ihla at (701) 328-2525.

Legislative week ahead

Three legislative meetings are scheduled for this week in Bismarck.

The Education Committee meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Roughrider Room in the Capitol.

Lawmakers will hear a presentation from Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple regarding the work of the Commission on Education Improvement and the Early Childhood Council.

The committee will also hear a report about the work of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force and hear reports from the Department of Public Instruction.

The Higher Education Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Roughrider Room.

The North Dakota University System will report on North Dakota academic and career and technical education scholarships.

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Advisory Council will provide an update regarding the strategic plan, programs and facilities of the school.

There will also be a presentation by the university system regarding the development of an internal audit plan for the system and for institutions.

Full agendas can be found at www.legis.nd.gov/council/interim/meetings.

Parks nominations

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is seeking nominations for the Cal Renner Award of Excellence.

The award, the department’s highest honor, is presented annually to an individual, group or business having demonstrated a long-term commitment to enhancing North Dakota state parks and North Dakota’s quality of life through outdoor recreation and natural resource stewardship.

Nominations will be accepted until Nov. 1. Award guidelines and nomination forms are available at www.parkrec.nd.gov or by calling the department at (701) 328-5358.