Story By Georgina Fernandez
Local News Published 09/30/2020 5:57PM, Last Updated 09/30/2020 6:07PM
Wabeno – The Bodwéwadmi Ktëgan, which translates to Potawatomi Farm, in Forest County is promoting a farm-to-table lifestyle. The farm offers a variety of agriculture, from pigs, cows and bison to specific Potawatomi fruits and vegetables.
Joe Shepard, the assistant farm manager, was first introduced with the idea of starting the farm when he was in High School. The Potawatomi tribe, like many other Native American tribes through the United States, have a high rate of heart disease and diabetes. The tribe wanted to find a way to help promote a healthier lifestyle in its community.
Then in 2017, that dream became a reality with the farm.
“Everything that we produce went to our schools, our daycare, our elders, the rec departments when they provided their summer feedings,” Shepard said.
Everything that is produced on the farm is sold on an on-site location as well. Which farmers say helps cut down the carbon footprint.
“Everything we produce here is in a natural, sustainable way,” Shepard said. “Our animals are all grass feed. We don’t spray.”
Animals are also rotated from pasture to pasture to make sure they are always getting fresh new grass to munch on. Currently it’s a little too early to see the long-term health benefits on the farm, but Shepard says the responses have been positive.
“Everybody who comes here is happy that we are doing it, because they can get the fresh vegetables and they know where their meat is coming from,” Shepard said.
The farm plans to start growing year-around leafy greens in the future, giving tribes a larger variety of vegetables year round.