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Promoting North Dakota through Rainy Butte Products

Susan Schmitt, who lives on a farm west of New England, likes to create novel ways to market ag products.

“My husband is a grain producer and I have chickens and beehives,” said Schmitt, who has named her business, Rainy Butte Products.

“Actually, the idea snowballed a couple years ago,” she said. “I had my honey and did jams and jellies with my chokecherry crop. I started doing a few sales locally and it started from there. Last year, I did a lot with my garden again and with the honey, and my daughter-in-law suggested the Rainy Butte Products idea.”

Schmitt sells the products in their natural state -- in particular, the honey. She purchases some honey from the  New Hradec area, but again, it’s from North Dakota.

“I like the bees a lot -- they pollinate my garden,and I’ve had phenomenal gardens since I’ve had the bees,” she said, adding, “I’m trying to winter my hives, but it’s really tricky. We’ll see what happens. The bee mites are a big issue for winter and you really need a strong colony.”

The concept of pure natural goodness extends to her whole wheat flour. She developed a beer bread mix that is sold in a beer bottle.

“I’ve done pancake mixes, and this is something a little simpler... it’s been a little trial  and error. I have restaurant experience -- I used to own the cafe in New England many years ago. I don’t use yeast -- it’s the baking powder mixed with the beer, and it’s unbelievably good. My beer bread takes on the flavor of the beer you use.”

Schmitt has developed another product using North Dakota products, but its not edible. She was decorating the tables for her wedding and needed centerpieces. Why not layer wheat with sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans and sunflower seeds? She uses their wheat, and purchases the other products.

“It’s a fun way to show the ag diversity of our state,” she said.

Schmitt works as a nurse at St. Benedict’s Health Center in Dickinson. She has been marketing the North Dakota products at the Roughrider Farmers Market in Dickinson during the summer. She has a sale coming up on New England’s Santa Claus Day, Sunday, Dec. 2. Other than that, anyone wanting a novel gift for Christmas may contact her by texting 264-0626 and she’ll make arrangements for delivery.

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