Four Seasons Market & Deli partners with local farms
July 30, 2022
BRIMLEY — Four Seasons Market & Deli, owned by Bay Mills Indian Community, has begun purchasing beef from Bay Mills Community College’s Waishkey Bay Farm to sell to the general public.
The decision to stock local meat products comes after a months-long planning process between the tribal enterprise and the tribal college.
In March of this year, staff from Four Seasons Market met with Waishkey Bay Farm Manager, Kat Jacques about a partnership to offer local beef in the market.
A short time later, Four Seasons' Retail Manager Justin LeBlanc was approached by another local farmer, Mikolowski Farms, who works with Waishkey Bay Farm to raise and sell pigs.
“We got invited out to the farm and of course we took them up on the offer for offering pork in the market as well,” said LeBlanc. “During our visit they would tell how much hard work and heart they put into raising these animals. We are very excited for this chance at bringing local meat and produce to our community.”
Waishkey Bay Farm sends their beef to USDA inspected meat processor. This allows us to them to sell to institutional purchasers (grocery stores, etc.) or to USDA funded meal programs.
In the past, the farm offered the herd-share program to community members as a way to source households with local beef. That program will continue.
“Waishkey Bay Farm will continue offering our herd-share program for years to come. With additional acreage purchased by BMCC in 2020, we plan to grow our infrastructure, herd, and capacity to make more herd-shares available in addition to supplying (portion of) beef for Four Seasons,” said Jacques.
As part of the BMCC Land Grant Department, BMCC's Waishkey Bay Farm is an education, research, and extension farm.
“We have dual goals of providing agricultural education throughout the lifespan and supporting healthy food access in our community,” added Jacques. “Growing our farm capacity to this point has been years in the making and BMCC is grateful to all staff and partners past and present who have and continue to help us move towards those goals. We have a long way to go to fully reach our goals for providing healthy local food in the community and the college looks forward to the path ahead.”
Waishkey Bay Farm has been accepted into the Intertribal Agriculture Council American Indian Foods Program which means their products will have the "Produced by American Indians" trademark stamp.
“The Waishkey Bay Farm and BMCC are proud to offer locally grown beef to the Tribe’s grocery store. We look forward to the continued partnership with Four Seasons Market and Deli,” said BMCC President Duane Bedell. “We are looking forward to growing our partnership by offering more Waishkey Bay Farm products in the future. Farm Manager Kat Jacques and her staff worked hard to make this possibility a reality.”