A New Vision, A New Future on MHA

Groundbreaking for Fresh Food Producing Marvel Signals a Modern Era of Farming Combined With Native Tradition

CHAIRMAN MARK FOX (CENTER) TURNS THE EARTH WITH MHA STAFF AND CONSTRUCTION OFFICIALS AT GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONIES NEAR PARSHALL ON MONDAY

By Logan J. Davis

The vision of food sovereignty for MHA Chairman Mark Fox is coming to fruition with a groundbreaking ceremony near Parshall. The need for food is becoming more critical every day and the future of the world and its very survival is at stake, emphasized Chairman Fox. 

His vision began one day when the tribal leader was on a flight home. Chairman Fox picked up a National Geographic magazine and noticed an article that caught his immediate attention. It was about how a small country in Europe had become one of the leading food exporters in the world. That article explained how Holland has utilized futuristic methods of greenhouse technology to grow fresh vegetables and fruit. The MHA Nation is now on the cusp of following the lead of Holland’s revolutionary and innovative methods with the groundbreaking of Native Green Grow project on Monday just east of the Healing Horse Ranch near Parshall. 

 

GREENHOUSE GROUNDBREAK  CHAIRMAN MARK FOX INTRODUCED THE GREENHOUSE PROJECT THAT CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE FOR MHA NATION AND THE WORLD AT THE GROUNDBREAKING SITE NEAR PARSHALL
KAREN RABBITHEAD OF NORTHEAST SEGMENT SPECIAL PROJECTS PRAISED THE GREENHOUSE PROJECT NEAR PARSHALL SHARING THE VISION OF MHA NATION TRIBAL CHAIRMAN MARK FOX

After the earth was ceremonially blessed at the ‘Greenfield Site’ by Hidatsa traditional elder, Delvin Driver Sr., Chairman Fox stepped up to the architectural design that was prominently displayed at the ceremony. The excitement in the voice of the tribal chairman was evident as he talked of the ‘MHA-NG2- Gas Capture Greenhouse project and how it will bring fresh and healthy food for the entire MHA Nation as well as being an exporter of that food grown in the glass greenhouses that will be growing food there in the future.

“I envision one day going to a local supermarket or Walmart and seeing our tomatoes or other food we grow here on this site with the sign saying, ‘locally grown’. Not some food that is shipped in all the way from California,” stated Chairman Fox.

To begin with, the facility will produce tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce. More types of vegetables and fruits will be added as the facility develops and workers are trained to operate the greenhouse 24/7.

The scale of the project required 17 different engineers on the design team because the project is so complex, and the size is so immense. Each engineer has their own specialized focus, and the design and construction will be a “unique challenge”.   

The new technology was willingly shared by the Dutch scientists and farmers with MHA tribal leaders, staff and other officials who are part of the lead team in developing the technology and building a local and expansive glass greenhouse. This MHA project is science, agriculture and native food traditions all wrapped into one major undertaking, said Chairman Fox. The Dutch scientists and agriculture experts have been working for two decades on this revolutionary food growing method in the Netherlands and in that short time, they have proven how incredibly successful glass greenhouses can be for any nation on the planet.

Combatting world hunger and preparing for a growing population that will need food while under the effects of climate change are the driving forces behind the new greenhouse technology. Chairman Fox reminded all in attendance at the groundbreaking that the MHA Nation ancestors were the first innovative farmers that grew healthy food without pesticides or any chemicals. The MHA Nation tribal ancestors also thrived through their trading with other tribes who came to the area to trade for the foods that the tribes along the Missouri were known for, he noted.

The eco-friendly glass greenhouse project on the MHA Nation will be immense in size with the growing area being 412,000 square feet that is comparable to seven football fields. Besides the greenhouse that will produce the food, there will be a warehouse, packing plant, a farm stand for a farmers market sales area, an administration facility, and a heating plant. The landscaping of the 40-acre site has already begun as part of Phase 1 of the three-phase project. The construction phase will be from April 2021 to September 2022 (18 months). The first vegetable crop is anticipated to be ready in August 2022.

Randall Lindemann of RML Architects indicated that every phase is important to the ultimate goal of completing such a major facility from the ground up.

“We are moving earth right now and since the greenhouse is glass, the ground and foundation under it has to be very precise and solid. It can’t be doing any settling. By any measure, this project is challenging. I have to say that Chairman Fox is a real visionary, and he is certainly dedicated to this project and the people’s future,” stated Lindemann.

There are many special features to the Native Green Grow (MHA-NG2- Gas Capture Greenhouse). The facility will utilize flare gas capture piping network and on-site raw gas refinery to produce natural gas liquids to power the facility.

Chairman Fox said he is grateful to the MHA Tribal Council members for their support and unified commitment to the project.

Other individuals who made some remarks at the groundbreaking were Lindemann, Karen Rabbithead, Chairperson of Northeast Segment Community Development Board and Doug Niesen, President of Woodstone Inc.

Rabbithead praised the project and how food came to become a major issue during the pandemic. Rabbithead is confident that the Native Green Grow Project will be successful, and she is eager to have such a remarkable facility located on Northeast Segment. Niesen’s company is doing the initial landscaping and is familiar with the technology involved in the construction.

A meal was provided by the staff of Chairman Fox after the speakers concluded their remarks.

After the earth was ceremonially blessed at the ‘Greenfield Site’ by Hidatsa traditional elder, Delvin Driver Sr., Chairman Fox stepped up to the architectural design that was prominently displayed at the ceremony. The excitement in the voice of the tribal chairman was evident as he talked of the ‘MHA-NG2- Gas Capture Greenhouse project and how it will bring fresh and healthy food for the entire MHA Nation as well as being an exporter of that food grown in the glass greenhouses that will be growing food there in the future.

“I envision one day going to a local supermarket or Walmart and seeing our tomatoes or other food we grow here on this site with the sign saying, ‘locally grown’. Not some food that is shipped in all the way from California,” stated Chairman Fox.

To begin with, the facility will produce tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce. More types of vegetables and fruits will be added as the facility develops and workers are trained to operate the greenhouse 24/7.

The scale of the project required 17 different engineers on the design team because the project is so complex, and the size is so immense. Each engineer has their own specialized focus, and the design and construction will be a “unique challenge”.   

The new technology was willingly shared by the Dutch scientists and farmers with MHA tribal leaders, staff and other officials who are part of the lead team in developing the technology and building a local and expansive glass greenhouse. This MHA project is science, agriculture and native food traditions all wrapped into one major undertaking, said Chairman Fox. The Dutch scientists and agriculture experts have been working for two decades on this revolutionary food growing method in the Netherlands and in that short time, they have proven how incredibly successful glass greenhouses can be for any nation on the planet.

Combatting world hunger and preparing for a growing population that will need food while under the effects of climate change are the driving forces behind the new greenhouse technology. Chairman Fox reminded all in attendance at the groundbreaking that the MHA Nation ancestors were the first innovative farmers that grew healthy food without pesticides or any chemicals. The MHA Nation tribal ancestors also thrived through their trading with other tribes who came to the area to trade for the foods that the tribes along the Missouri were known for, he noted.

The eco-friendly glass greenhouse project on the MHA Nation will be immense in size with the growing area being 412,000 square feet that is comparable to seven football fields. Besides the greenhouse that will produce the food, there will be a warehouse, packing plant, a farm stand for a farmers market sales area, an administration facility, and a heating plant. The landscaping of the 40-acre site has already begun as part of Phase 1 of the three-phase project. The construction phase will be from April 2021 to September 2022 (18 months). The first vegetable crop is anticipated to be ready in August 2022.

Randall Lindemann of RML Architects indicated that every phase is important to the ultimate goal of completing such a major facility from the ground up.

“We are moving earth right now and since the greenhouse is glass, the ground and foundation under it has to be very precise and solid. It can’t be doing any settling. By any measure, this project is challenging. I have to say that Chairman Fox is a real visionary, and he is certainly dedicated to this project and the people’s future,” stated Lindemann.

There are many special features to the Native Green Grow (MHA-NG2- Gas Capture Greenhouse). The facility will utilize flare gas capture piping network and on-site raw gas refinery to produce natural gas liquids to power the facility.

Chairman Fox said he is grateful to the MHA Tribal Council members for their support and unified commitment to the project.

Other individuals who made some remarks at the groundbreaking were Lindemann, Karen Rabbithead, Chairperson of Northeast Segment Community Development Board and Doug Niesen, President of Woodstone Inc.

Rabbithead praised the project and how food came to become a major issue during the pandemic. Rabbithead is confident that the Native Green Grow Project will be successful, and she is eager to have such a remarkable facility located on Northeast Segment. Niesen’s company is doing the initial landscaping and is familiar with the technology involved in the construction.

A meal was provided by the staff of Chairman Fox after the speakers concluded their remarks.