An agriculture research center on the North Dakota State University campus is plugging plants as an alternative protein source to meat. The Northern Crops Institute is planning a three-day course this spring to provide information on the basics of plant-based foods and show participants how to produce the best product. Institute spokesman Grant Christian says the seminar is targeting foodies, restaurateurs, food bloggers and others. The Northern Crops Institute is funded by the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota and commodity groups. The group promotes domestic and international markets and value-added processing for regional crops.