April 30, 2024

Seed Award Spotlight: Dynamite Hill Farms

In our “Seed Award Spotlight” series, we asked our inaugural Seed Award winners about their…


A smiling woman in a blue long-sleeved shirt stands beside a man with a braided beard wearing a green and black cap, a black hoodie, and brown pants. They are outdoors with a wooden structure and a cloudy sky in the background.
Image of Jerry Jondreau and Katy Bresette, owners of Dynamite Hill Farms in L’Anse, Michigan.In our “Seed Award Spotlight” series, we asked our inaugural Seed Award winners about their experience as a food or farm entrepreneur, including the passion behind their business, and what motivates them to do the work they do every day. In early 2024, 11 Seed Award winners were chosen to receive seed funding totaling almost $150,000, based on their businesses’ commitment to promoting racial equity, enhancing healthy food access, fostering job creation, and embracing resilient climate practices.

Dynamite Hill Farms in L’Anse, Michigan, stands out among this year’s Seed Award recipients. Rooted in Ojibwe heritage, this farm is dedicated to producing traditional, clean, and artisanal foods, upholding cultural and environmental ethics. Utilizing their Upper Peninsula acreage, owners Jerry Jondreau and Katy Bresette engage in sustainable practices like wild rice harvesting and maple sap collection, honoring their profound connection to nature and ancestry. This year’s Seed Award funding will support vital infrastructure improvements, further enhancing their sustainable operations. Keep reading to learn more about Dynamite Hill Farms and the deep connection to the land that fuels their fight for locally sourced food. 

What does being selected as a Seed Award winner mean to you personally, and how does it reflect on the journey of your business so far?  

Awards such as this help small businesses like ours take incremental steps on our way to building a sustainable business. This specific award will help a modest expansion of our business, key to our model of slow food and sustainable systems. 

In what ways will the Seed Award funding support your immediate and long-term business goals? 

 This expansion will allow us to invest in a direct line system that up until this point, we were unable to do on our own. We have noticed that the trees on a direct vacuum line have had better production during the last few years as weather and climate changes have led to more uncertain sugaring opportunities. For the short term, that will allow us to keep up with the next few years of production. In the long term, we hope this system will allow us to better monitor and maintain the health of our trees. 

Can you share your vision for the positive changes this award will enable you to make in your business and the broader community? 

We believe fully that the revitalization of our food systems are key to healthy and sustainable systems. Our unique position that combines traditional teachings with modern requirements, allows us to explore that revitalization as the years continue and changes become inevitable. By maintaining our business, we are able to serve our family, our communities and the region with food that sustains our health, and the health of the surrounding ecosystem. 

The positive changes start with education, language, culture, and will inevitably lead to the opportunities for innovation and adaptability we are all looking for these days. 

What led you to start your business? What motivates you to do what you do? 

Dynamite Hill Farms provides local, traditional, healthy, sustainable, Ojibwe food to communities all around the region. We hope to play a part in reviving local Ojibwe economies and understandings through the distribution and education surrounding our food. The needs of all peoples, families, communities and this region keep us motivated everyday to continue this work. 

Want to try wild rice or maple syrup from Dynamite Hill Farms? Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on how you can purchase their products and support their mission. 

Interested in working with the Michigan Good Food Fund? See if your business is a good fit here.    

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