Native Farmers' Market to get pavilion on corner of Leaton and Broadway
A new pavilion is slated to be built on the corner of Broadway and Leaton roads after the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe received a rural development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The $200,000 rural business enterprise grant was awarded earlier this month to help raise a pavilion to house the Native Farmer’s Market.
“We’re so excited. A lot of natives are going back to more traditional foods and currently we have wild rice, a vendor with maple syrup, honey, more of the natural foods,“ said Marcella Hadden, the public relations manager for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. “We currently do have a native farmers market that’s every Wednesday from June to October.”
Alec Lloyd, the public information coordinator for the USDA Michigan office, said the grant will allow the Tribe to put up a permanent structure to help serve the community.
“Farmers markets are all about showcasing local produce,” he said. “What sets this apart is, because it’s sponsored by a tribe, it also gives them an opportunity to highlight the heritage of the area.”
Hadden said Native American vendors will be allowed to sell their crafts at the farmer’s market, as well.
The Tribe could see construction of the pavilion as early as this fall. Hadden said the goal is to put a roof over the area to make it more friendly to vendors and encourage foot traffic.
“It’s within walking distance of all our employees and will make a great option for foods,” she said. “A lot of native communities are going back to our native roots of healthy foods.”
The new pavilion will also create approximately 33 jobs, according to a July 21 press release from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office.
“When we grow things here and make things here, we create jobs here in Michigan,” Stabenow wrote. “Farmers’ markets connect families and small businesses with local farmers and ranchers, boosting the local economy and creating jobs. Today’s announcement is great news and will help generate more economic activity in Isabella County.”
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a separate press release that the Mount Pleasant-based tribe is one of many tribes in 19 states that are receiving grant money to grow their economy.
“USDA continues to create ladders of opportunity in Native American communities by investing in the tools needed to create good-paying jobs and raise the quality of life for residents,” Vilsack wrote. “These strategic investments will help deliver more products and services to local customers, boost residents’ earnings and improve the economic vitality of these tribal communities.”
Hadden said she is excited to see more vendors come to the farmers market on the reservation.
Interested vendors can contact her at 989-775-4059 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back with cm-life.com for more on this story.