Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
Sustainable Agriculture Research Station (LSARS) Farm Plan
Mission/ Goal Statement:
To provide opportunities and challenges for Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College students to learn and work with staff, other students, community members and Elders in a sustainable agricultural setting to increase access to healthy, nutritious foods. This will provide various modalities to improve food security in a low-socioeconomic tribal community; which will improve health and provide less reliance on commercially processed foods. Education and research activities in a multi-generational learning environment will encourage community members to take ownership over where their food comes from, empowering youth and Elders. Students and community members will have access to land and resources for research, experimentation, and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices and products that will enhance food sovereignty for themselves and the LCO community.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College Sustainable Agriculture Research Station (LSARS) is leased from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and operated by the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC). It is a 220 acre (75 tillable) farm located at 13457W Froemel Road near Hayward, WI (Figure 1). LSARS is critical to the agricultural production at Lac Courte Oreilles. According to the 2006 Lac Courte Oreilles Comprehensive Smart Growth Plan, there are approximately 304 acres designated as agricultural within the reservations 77,000 acre boundary (Figure 2). The overall agricultural goal the Tribe adopted in December 2006 as a result of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, is “To provide the community with the opportunity to sustain themselves (be self-sufficient) in a wholesome, healthy, and economical way, without impacting the environment through both modern &/ or traditional agricultural practices (including hunting and gathering).”
The Extension Director and LSARS Management positions are currently funded through USDA-NIFA Tribal College’s grants. These grants are on two- and four-year cycles. The LSARS Management position was created in 2010. Student internships are vital to the staffing and success of LSARS.
During the fall and spring semesters 3 interns have various responsibilities; and during the summer 6 interns are employed 40 hours per week. Schedules are rotated to keep the farm open 7 days a week. Interns are funded through multiple sources at LCOOCC including: Work-Based Learning, Ag/Equity, and others. Intern eligibility is based on student status and whether the student is pursuing a certificate or degree program at LCOOCC. Figure 3 describes the current organizational structure, positions highlighted in green are future proposed staffing needs which would be necessary in order to scale up operations and implement multiple community services.