Saving Seeds for Food Sovereignty in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
In Northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Dani Fegan of Three Dogs Seed Farm is saving culturally important and climate-adapted seeds of foods, plants, and medicines for her community’s food sovereignty and security.
A new farmer, she purchased her 20-acre Michigan seed saving farm in 2019 with her husband Brian about a mile and a half from her home. She grows plants for seedkeeping on about three acres, and has six acres of mixed maple, balsam poplar, and aspen forest on the property.
This year, Michigan seed saving farm Three Dogs Seed Farm was a recipient of a Brighter Futures Fund award of $5,000, which was sponsored by American Farmland Trust with generous support from Tillamook Dairy and other partners. Dani says the farm has already used the grant money to have a groundwater well drilled on the property. The new well is outfitted with a solar-powered pump so there are no long-term electricity costs. When the farm gets to those extremely arid situations again, that water is available. The farm can also wash equipment and give produce an initial rinse. The farm expects the well will save them time, money, and fuel as well as make them more resilient to changes in precipitation over time.
Follow Three Dogs Seed Farm on Instagram.
About American Farmland Trust (AFT)’s Brighter Future Fund:
AFT’s Brighter Future Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 per project to help farmers nationwide improve farm viability, access, transfer or permanently protect farmland, or adopt regenerative agricultural practices. In 2022, the fund accepted applications from farmers who identify as BIPOC, Veterans, LGBTQIA+ and beginning farmers who had limited access to financial resources in the past. Since 2020, AFT with the support of Tillamook and others has provided approximately $2.5 million in grants directly to more than 2,000 farmers across the nation. Learn more here.