Agriculture is key to many tribes, including the Winnebago Tribe. It impacts nearly all facets of life from an economic, health and cultural standpoint. Strong agriculture programs also contribute to a tribe’s food sovereignty and workforce development.

In 2023, Ho-Chunk Farms will plant nearly 7,000 acres. Of these acres, 1,000 will be used for cover crops and another 1,000 will be used for organically certified crops. Ho-Chunk Farms participates in several U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, including programs focused on water conservation, and monitoring herbicide and pesticide use.

Ho-Chunk Farms maintains a variety of crops such as corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.

3 Key Areas of Farming Impact

  • Cultural Education

  • Tribal Food Sovereignty
  • Workforce Development 

Agriculture an
aspiration for youth

Ho-Chunk Farms partners with Winnebago community on a variety of projects. One partnership is with the Winnebago Public Schools to facilitate an annual Indian Corn Harvest. The project allows students to process the corn and learn about the traditional ways and then sell the corn to fundraise for academic development activities.

Workforce Development

“We’re seeing a huge wave of interest among our community’s youth about choosing a career in the agriculture industry,” said Aaron LaPointe, manager of Ho-Chunk Farms.

Ho-Chunk Farms’ community partnerships are helping drive this change. Historically, agriculture has been an overlooked career.

Food Sovereignty

Food sovereignty is very important to the Winnebago Tribe and Indian Country as a whole – we see the ability to access and control our own food sources as a fundamental human right.

Food is not only a source of nutrition, but also a vital aspect of the Winnebago cultural identity and traditional knowledge. There is a deep spiritual and cultural connection to the land and the food it produces.

As with many Native American communities, the Winnebago people have a strong connection to the land and a deep respect for the environment. By practicing food sovereignty, we’re working to promote sustainable agriculture practices that protect the land and natural resources for future generations.

Traditional foods and agricultural practices are an important part of Winnebago culture and heritage. By practicing food sovereignty, Ho-Chunk Farms helps preserve and promote cultural traditions, like the Indian Corn harvest.

Like many indigenous people, the Winnebago Tribe faces high rates of food insecurity and diet-related health issues such as diabetes and obesity. By promoting food sovereignty, Ho-Chunk Farms is helping to ensure our community members have access to healthy, culturally appropriate food that meets their nutritional needs.

Food sovereignty will always be a vital issue for the Winnebago community, and Ho-Chunk Farms is dedicated to helping the Winnebago Tribe assert control over their own food systems and promote their cultural heritage, health, and well-being.

Have questions or want to learn more?

Contact Us