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College of Menominee Nation Awarded Funding for Sustainable Use of Safe Hemp Ingredient Project


The College of Menominee Nation (CMN), a 1994 Tribal Land Grant College, is excited to announce it has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agriculture and Food Research (AFRI) Sustainable Agriculture Systems (SAS) grant. This project is in collaboration with other Land Grant Institutions - including Central State University (1890 Land-Grant), Kentucky State University (1890 Land-Grant), the University of Delaware (1862 Land-Grant), the University of Kentucky (1862 Land-Grant), and Mississippi State (1862 Land-Grant).


The award totals $10 million dollars over five years with CMN receiving $1,164,925.00 for the first two years and the remaining $1,651,034.00 for years three, four, and five. The project, titled “Sustainable Aquaculture Production of High Omega-3-Containing-Fish Using a Novel Feed Additive (Hemp),” will increase CMN’s ability to develop and implement a research line that will benefit students and faculty. In addition, the project will offer both an education and community extension component that falls directly in line with CMN’s mission as a Land Grant Institution.


“This is a historic opportunity for the College of Menominee Nation as no Tribal College has received a USDA-AFRI SAS grant prior to this,” according to Brian Kowalkowski, Dean of Continuing Education at CMN. Kowalkowski added, “The uniqueness of bringing together such a diverse group of institutions is also a step in a new direction, specifically working with Central State University in Ohio, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).” College of Menominee Nation President Christopher Caldwell has indicated his strong support for the project and had this to say about the new partnerships, “Being able to work across state borders as well as other Land Grant institutions is a great opportunity for our school and our community.”


For the past 27 years, CMN has held Land Grant status as designated by the federal government and not only takes its commitment to the Menominee people very seriously, but also its responsibility as a Land Grant institution to provide for the educational, sustainable, health, and economical needs of the communities it serves. This project will bring to the Menominee Reservation and surrounding communities an opportunity to learn about both aquaponics and aquaculture with training, workshops, and field days. A certificate program will be established for interested community members, as well as the development of articulation agreements between CMN and Central State University providing the opportunity for cross-cultural learning.


One of a number of priority areas for the USDA-AFRI SAS grant includes the development of agricultural economics in rural areas, and this project provides opportunities to those areas that have historically been underserved. This project received support locally from the Menominee Tribal Clinic, the Menominee Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, the Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center, University of Wisconsin Positive Youth Development Institute, and the First American Land Grant Consortium.