American Farmland Trust

American Farmland Trust

Saving Seeds for Food Sovereignty in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
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Three Dog Seed Farm
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American Farmland Trust

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.

Dani Fegan (right) and her husband Brian (left) are the primary growers at Three Dogs Seed Farm. They are pictured here with their farm pups Louie (miniature dachshund) and Reo (a beagle/black lab mix).

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.

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For 40 years American Farmland Trust has led the conservation agriculture movement.

We’ve saved farmland, advanced better farming practices, and supported farmers and ranchers.

Yet farming is not moving in the right direction fast enough. America is losing 2,000 acres of farmland every day.

By 2040, we will double the amount of permanently protected farmland, and reduce the current loss by 75%, adopt regenerative practices at scale, so that agriculture captures more carbon than it emits, and help 600,000 new farmers and ranchers get started and succeed.

Our work is essential to the future American agriculture, and the future of American agriculture will determine the future of our planet. The future of farming is our future, and that future hinges on what we do next.

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