UNM Rainforest Innovations

On January 26, Bidii Baby Foods, LLC, an organic farm and agricultural cooperative, was awarded the Heart of the Land Award for Outstanding Leadership in Farming and Ranching as part of the New Mexico Food & Farm Day. Supported by Farm to Table NM and the NM Food & Agriculture Policy Council, this annual event celebrates and recognizes the efforts of local individuals, communities, organizations, and agencies that strive to create a thriving local food, farming, and ranching economy. View the full list of awardees here: https://nmfoodpolicy.org/2023-food-farms-day-awards/

“Receiving the ‘Heart of the Land Award’ is such an honor,” said Zachariah Ben. “At Bidii Baby Foods, we use traditional, indigenous farming methods and plant heritage seeds that have been in our family and community for generations. We then use these crops to nourish our young children and restore indigenous food ways. Our mission came to us through the birth of our child; he inspired us to not only grow these foods for him, but to create these baby food products for families with young children across our state and tribal nation(s). To be recognized in this way from the state means so much to us. We really put our heart and soul into fulfilling this mission day in and day out on our farm and within our own family. Thank you so much for the support and recognition.”

Bidii Baby Foods is an agricultural cooperative owned and operated by Zachariah and Mary Ben. They produce an indigenous baby food line and promote a healthy lifestyle through farming and traditional Navajo foods. Visit their website to learn more here: https://www.bidiibabyfoods.org/

Zachariah Ben, in addition to running Bidii Baby Foods, works as a Tribal Liaison for the New Mexico Tribal Entrepreneurship Enhancement Program (NMTEEP) administered by UNM Rainforest Innovations. The NMTEEP helps break down barriers and generate opportunity through entrepreneurship in historically underserved communities in New Mexico with a primary focus on coal-impacted tribal communities. Tribal liaisons are an essential part of the program, and their main mission is to connect with established and aspiring entrepreneurs within tribal communities across the state. They serve as navigators, dedicated mentors, and connection points to identify barriers and seek solutions through resources within the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Learn more about the tribal liaisons and how to connect here: http://loborainforest.com/tribal-entrepreneurship/tribal-liaisons/

See also Savanah Romero’s November 30, 2022 article, “Meet Zachariah Ben, New Tribal Liaison for the New Mexico Tribal Entrepreneurship Enhancement Program,” on the UNM Rainforest Innovations website at https://innovations.unm.edu/meet-zachariah-ben-new-tribal-liaison-for-the-new-mexico-tribal-entrepreneurship-enhancement-program/

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