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John Dugan

Dugan Farms, Cherokee, NC

Dugan Farms is building fencing around their farm to protect their culturally significant crops that elk would otherwise destroy. This new fencing will allow them to have more variety in the plants, more effectively save seeds, and provide more food to their community.

Bio: My name is John Dugan, I am an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and I was born and raised in the Birdtown Community of the Qualla Boundary. I have farmed my entire life in my community and currently farm on tribal lease land located at Kituwah, which is the Mother Town of all Cherokee people, the first village site. I’m very blessed to be able to farm on the land my ancestors have lived for over 10,000 years. On the farm I produce a number of fruits and vegetables, but specialize in Cherokee heritage crops, such as Cherokee White Flour Corn, which is used for making traditional breads, or hominy My farm products stay in the Cherokee area as much as possible to help fight diabetes, preserve culture, and to fight food insecurity as the Qualla Boundary is a food desert. As I can continue into my farming career I make a point to take on new tribal farmers so they can learn traditional Cherokee cropping. We have a number of visitors such as school groups, leadership groups, and tribal elders. Preserving Cherokee language is an emphasis on our signage at the market. I am a proud Cherokee grower.

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