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New farmers market to focus on needs of Native Americans

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan broke ground this week on a unique farmers market.

When it opens in July, the market near Mount Pleasant will feature locally grown produce, including some from local Native American farmers.

“We wanted to bring a quality of life to our membership and our tribal community….not unlike what’s been done in other communities,” says Frank Cloutier a tribal spokesman.

Officials hope the farmers market will help reduce obesity and diabetes rates among tribal members.

The market will also provide a venue for Native American artisans to sell to the public.   

“It’s important we retain our Native American culture and this is an opportunity to do that,” says Jim Turner, the state director for the USDA office of Rural Development.

The USDA is providing grant money to pay for construction of the new farmers’ market pavilion.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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