Red River Market begins its season

The Red River Market has officially begun its season, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Ag producers and vendors were happy by the turnout of the first market on Saturday and believe that a good season is to come.

The Red River Market in downtown Fargo. (Emily Beal / Agweek)

FARGO, N.D. — The Red River Market has begun its season, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many ag producers, vendors and market goers made their way to downtown Fargo for the first Red River market of the season. While some vendors and producers were hesitant about the overall turnout due to the pandemic, the market was deemed a success and had a large turnout.

“I did not know what to expect this year; every year is great. It’s definitely a community event, but with everything that is going on it was hard to predict what things would look like. I can say we are thrilled with the turnout. It’s great to see people again and just feel a little bit of normalcy,” Brittany Luthi, farmer’s market coordinator for Three Bears Honey, said.

Luthi’s father-in-law, Paul Luthi, started Three Bears Honey Company 35 years ago. Initially started as a hobby, the honey venture turned into a family business with his son, Travis Luthi, becoming a beekeeper himself.


Brittany and Travis Luthi with Three Bears Honey Co. (Emily Beal / Agweek)

Three Bears Honey Company has about 1,000 hives in the Red River Valley and sells the honey product to grocery stores such as Hornbacher's and Natural Grocers. Three Bears also sells their honey products to local coffee shops such as Third Drop Coffee and Young Blood Coffee. However, Three Bears Honey Company always enjoys their time at The Red River Market.

“This is our sixth season at the market, it's great to see so many faces come out to the market this year. It really makes me optimistic that we will have another great season, even with the pandemic,” Brittany Luthi said.

While the pandemic has made some businesses slow down, Prairie Soul Meats is not one of them.

Deanna and Cody Sand with Prairie Soul Meats. (Emily Beal / Agweek)

“Our sales have increased since the pandemic, but the challenge is all the local butcher shops are filled up. But, we are very lucky to have a local federal butcher shop that we take our product to,” said Cody Sand, rancher and father to Deanna Sand, the owner of Prairie Soul Meats, of Ashley, N.D.

Until 2011, the Sand family practiced conventional ranching, but then decided to take a more holistic approach, raising their cattle, lambs and hogs to be grass- and pasture-fed. Due to the high quality of their new product, they decided to start selling their product wholesale, selling directly to the consumer.

Prairie Soul Meats has a herd of about 400-500 grass-fed cattle and takes four to six head to a local butcher shop each month.

“I didn’t know what to expect because this is our first time at the market. I thought it would be good because people want to eat and people want to get out, they don't want to be locked in their houses,” Sand said.


While this was Prairie Soul’s first time at the market, they were pleased by the amount of product that was sold. They sold entirely out of organ meat and sold many sirloins, ribeyes and brisket.

The Sands have enjoyed meeting people at the market and plan to keep attending this season.

“I have enjoyed just seeing and meeting people. It’s always interesting,” Sand said.

The Red River Market itself is taking measures to ensure a great season as well, by suggesting guidelines for attendees to follow in an effort to make everyone feel comfortable.

The market encourages those who attend to wear masks or facial coverings. Vendors, as well as many shoppers, were sporting face masks.

In addition, the market layout looks a little different this year, leaving one empty vendor space between each vendor, in an effort to social distance.

The Red River Market will be held every Saturday, from July 11 to Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, please visit: Red River Market .


Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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