Our fall newsletter for the Great Lakes Region is posted below. Here are some highlights:
- Youth Essay Contest: This year’s contest theme is “Feeding the Future and Filling the Age Gap in Indian Agriculture”. Tribal youth ages 9th-12th grade are encouraged to apply. The top three finalists will receive a generous prize package and an all expenses paid trip to the IAC Annual Membership Meeting for themselves and an adult chaperone. We also have a limited number of youth scholarships available to the Membership Meeting.
- IAC Annual Membership Meeting: Held December 8-11, the 28th annual event will again be at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. We have a couple producer scholarships for the Great Lakes Region. Additional information and the membership form is included in the attached newsletter.
- Intertribal Maple Syrup Producer Co-op: This new effort is working to build support for Native sugar producers by providing equipment discounts, education, unified marketing, and enhanced coordination. A recently awarded USDA Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) is supporting a feasibility study and business plan. The co-op website is tribalsyrup.com.
- Mobile Farmers Market: Despite limited funding and staffing, the second season of the Mobile Farmers Market continued to make strides in expanding access to and promoting traditional foods. We are in the process of reevaluating outreach and distribution strategies that is focusing on expanded distribution partnerships to allow more regular ordering and deliveries while continuing to use the van for special events and larger shipments. Our USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant has expired, but we are committed to continuing this effort.
- Sustainable Ag. Workshop Series: Events this year included the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, the Food Sovereignty Summit, a Seed Training at Shakopee in May, and seed saving workshops in conjunction with LCO’s Tribal College and College of Menominee Nation. We are working to expand the number and scope of workshops next year. USDA SARE has provided funding to make this effort possible.