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Spearfish Local chooses Advisory Council at Local Summit

Local Summit funded in part by a $24,800 grant awarded by The Wellmark Foundation to Black Hills State University

July 1, 2014

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(Spearfish, Iowa) –An advisory council for Spearfish Local, a new initiative of Black Hills State University, was formed earlier this month at a local summit held by the university in partnership with the Wellmark Foundation. Additionally, the summit included workshops for children and adults and a dinner for the public made from locally grown foods. Local producers gave time and effort to help make the dinner a success. Black Hills State University was recently awarded $24,800 by the Wellmark Foundation to fund this project.

The advisory council will work closely to manage Spearfish Local, a new initiative that aims to better connect everyone in the Northern Hills region that grows, sells, or eats local food and other products.

The advisory council members come from various backgrounds within the local food economy, including retailers, producers, dieticians, and more. Members chosen to serve on the advisory council include: Dawn Habeck, Trish Jenkins, Rebecca Dorsett, Carrie Gray-Wood, Katie Greer, and Rachel Headley. In order to have representation from each aspect of the local food supply chain, additional members will be invited to join the council. The advisory council will meet with the community on a quarterly basis to address challenges in the regional food supply.

“Spearfish Local will work with food producers from the region to supply the community with healthy, locally grown food,” explains Headley. “This grant from the Wellmark Foundation will allow us to educate the community on the importance of a well-rounded diet and support our local producers.”

Spearfish Local
Spearfish Local is the beginning of a new community-wide partnership that will focus on health aspects of the community, including a focus on the health benefits of the local food economy. Spearfish Local is unique, because we are bringing passionate community organizers together with like-minded university faculty and students who can contribute to community health and wellness through internships, class projects, and service activities. Over the next year, BHSU will locate nine paid student internships throughout the Spearfish community and with local producers, providing over 1,350 hours of support for shared Spearfish Local goals.

Grant one of only 19 selected
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their communities. Through its 2014 Healthy Communities small grant program, the Foundation received 112 grant requests from various organizations seeking support for smaller community health projects. This grant award to Black Hills State University represents one of 19 competitively awarded grants across Iowa and South Dakota to establish pilot efforts or expand upon current community health initiatives.

The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award a cumulative total of $404,000 to these 19 grant recipients.

“Spearfish Local is an initiative that will help the public to incorporate a healthy diet into their lifestyles,” says Stephanie Perry, the Wellmark Foundation. “The Wellmark Foundation is pleased to be partnering with this great organization that will boost the local food economy for the Spearfish region.”

For more information on Spearfish Local, contact Rachel Headley at (605) 323-9650 or For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and its grant programs, contact Teresa Roof at (515) 376-5869.

About The Wellmark Foundation
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Please visit The Wellmark Foundation's Web site to learn more about our grant program, as well as a list of previous grant recipients. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Black Hills State University
Located in Spearfish, South Dakota, in the heart of the northern Black Hills, Black Hills State University offers 73 bachelor, 9 master, and 4 associate degree programs on a spectacular 123-acre campus. With an enrollment of nearly 4,500 students, BHSU is the largest university in the region. The University's location provides the ideal environment for combining outdoor recreation and collegiate educational opportunities. Visit to learn more.

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