Outreach & Promotion

The Bean Institute

The consumer marketing & informational arm of NBGA is The Bean Institute. The website, social media channels, and its social media plan was developed on behalf of Northarvest by Communique, Inc..The goal is to consistently grow the Bean Institute’s reach online and to be the easy source for bean nutritional information as well as bean-related recipes.

The expanding community by has been grown by targeting home cooks, culinary and foodservice professionals, nutrition educators, and school nutrition professionals with timely, impactful messaging and resources.Follow and subscribe at BeanInstitute.com.

NBGA works  Communique, Inc. to provide consumers, dietitians, nutritionists, and food industry professionals with up-to-date information and strength the promotion of dry beans as a delicious and nutritious lifestyle. This partnership provides the following nutrition research and promotion:

  • Northarvest also supports the continued development, maintenance, and addition of new content to the Bean Institute website. Communique’s services include monitoring of the web and keeping it fresh, responding to visitors’ questions and requests, adding all materials as they become available, and monitoring of website traffic to analyze usage data.

  • The monthly Bean Institute e-newsletter promotes bean-centric recipes, as well as nutritional information written specifically for consumers by a registered dietitian.
    • In recent years, Northarvest & has overseen the Dry Bean Health Research Program (DBHRP) which funded $20,000 grants for scientific research projects intended to identify the health benefits of dry beans. Communique administers the DBHRP, which has led to  $545,000 in awards that have yielded $7.7 million in additional bean-related research funding. This includes$6.5 million in major awards and $1.2 million in smaller awards. Applications were scored by a peer review panel and award decisions are made in consultation with scientific advisor Dr. David Allison and a representative of NBGA.

AG IN THE CLASSROOM & Living Ag classroom

 People attending an indoor community event with informational booths and orange tablecloths.NBGA regularly participates in educational Ag events in North Dakota as well as Minnesota that teach youth about farming as well as where their food comes from.

The NBGA booth, often assisted by board/council members donating their time, focuses on educating youth about edible dry beans through an interactive bean trivia game as well as a Q & A time with the volunteering dry bean growers. Events are held each winter and spring; past event sites include Minot, Bismarck, Fargo, and St. Paul.

Past Outreach projects & Partnerships include:

Two smiling children enjoying lunch at a school cafeteria.


Spring 2019: Northarvest is a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Healthy Kids Collaborative, a national initiative to advance culinary-driven, healthy and flavorful foods for kids in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Through this collaborative, Northarvest is partnered with School Nutrition Plus (SNP), a school food service operation based in Los Angeles that works with over fifty charter schools across the city and serves 20,000 meals every day. In partnership, Northarvest and SNP developed three new bean recipes that were tested with over 700 students at Fenton Ave. Elementary School in Los Angeles in May 2019. These recipes will soon be added to the school nutrition section of the Bean Institute website to further support beans on school menus.

Woman smiling at a bean product exposition booth.


Spring 2019: Northarvest sponsored and exhibited at the North Dakota and Minnesota Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics annual conferences. The North Dakota conference was held March 21- 22 in Fargo, and the Minnesota conference was April 24-26 in Bloomington. In combination, the conferences attracted over 425 dietitians, dietetic technicians and students. As sponsor/exhibitors, Northarvest was able to connect with attendees during breaks, as well as designated exhibitor hours, sharing publications, recipes and “Cook with Beans” wooden spoons with visitors.

Group of people volunteering to prepare food in a community kitchen.


February 6-8, 2019: The 2019 Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives Conference was held February 6-9 at the CIA in St. Helena, California. Faculty members from the Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and other prestigious institutions presented the science of diet and nutrition. The event focused on plant-forward cooking and eating style, calling it the best path to a healthy sustainable diet. A diet high in fiber from real plant-based foods, such as edible beans, is seen as a positive food choice for people and the planet.

Fresh white bean and arugula salad on a plate.


May 1-3, 2019: The interest in plant-forward eating continues to grow as consumers are looking for delicious food choices that support personal health, as well as the health of the planet. To align with this growing global trend, the CIA hosted the first Global Plant-Forward Culinary Summit on May 1-3, 2019 at their Copia campus (Napa, CA). This summit brought together a select audience of 300 food, culinary, and beverage leaders in American foodservice to experience flavor strategies and explore critical opportunities around plant-forward menus.Northarvest was a bronze-level sponsor for this event, which included an exhibitor opportunity, as well as two menu tastings to showcase plant-forward bean dishes.

Two women smiling at a bean products exhibition booth.


July 15-16, 2019: Nearly 30 million students eat school lunch every day in the United States. That number, and the potential impact by increasing consumption of beans through the school nutrition program, is the reason Northarvest continues to support school nutrition professionals. This year, Northarvest exhibited at the School Nutrition Association Annual Conference, held July 15-16 in St. Louis. Over 6,500 school nutrition professionals gathered from across the country to learn about new products, strategies and resources to serve healthy, delicious school meals. Northarvest shared a collection of new bean recipes that are credited (meaning they meet the school nutrition guidelines), kid-tested, and approved. Click here to access the recipes.

Woman presenting at culinary event with attendees and cooking station in background.


September 10-12, 2019: The Northarvest Bean Growers were bronze-level sponsors for the sixteenth annual Flavor, Quality & American Menus, an invitational leadership retreat held at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. Co-hosted by the CIA and the University of California Davis, this annual meeting brings together leaders across across foodservice and agriculture industry for conversations about the future of agriculture, as well as flavor, quality, and diversity in agriculture and menu development. As bronze level sponsors, Northarvest shared several delicious bean recipes, had attendees develop new bean recipe concepts in a market basket exercise, and delivered a presentation about trends and opportunities for beans on American menus.

Two bowls of fresh tofu salad with greens and beans on a wooden serving board.


January 15-17, 2019 Each January, the Worlds of Healthy Flavors invitational leadership retreat brings together 125 leaders—including top nutrition researchers, influential corporate chefs, leading registered dietitians, world cuisine experts, members of the media, and other influencers—to discuss opportunities for presenting American consumers with a wider range of healthy menu options. This invitation-only event is designed to help high-volume menu decision makers expand healthy meal choice by examining long-term foodservice flavor trends with approaches to healthy cooking. Northarvest was a silver-level sponsor for the 2019 event, held January 15-17 at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia (Napa, California). This sponsorship included several opportunities to display Northarvest beans with global flavors.

Various Regional & National Promotion Activities

Throughout the year, Northarvest supports various regional and national trade shows, development and communications programs and marketing promotions. Below is a short list of the different types of regional and national promotion activities that Northarvest supports:

  • Northarvest sponsored several regional trade shows, including WIC, Living Ag Classroom, ND Winter Show, NDSU Harvest Bowl, Eat Smart Play Hard and the 5th Annual Banquet in the Field.

  • Northarvest works with the Red River Farm Network (RRFN) to keep growers updated on important Dry Bean & agricultural issues with “The Dry Bean Scene”  radio segment, which is also made available online.

  • The Northarvest Bean Growers Association sponsored the North Dakota Agriculture magazine, which showcases agriculture throughout the state.

  • CIA World Bean Kitchen Recipe Development created five new recipes focusing on Beans and World Spices. Recipes and videos are online at CIAprochef.com/northarvest.

  • The CIA Social Media program reports for the third quarter a total of more than 19,000 views about beans on YouTube and iTunes. Total video views of more than 565,000 since launch. More than 5,800 people follow the CIA’s Pinterest board, with 46 pins. On May 30, 2018, an eblast announcing new content had also been sent to more than 23,000 food service professionals.