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View the Credit and FSA Program Webinar Series videos

The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative has opened registration for its Credit and FSA Program Webinar Series. This webinar series has been developed by our leading faculty in the areas of business planning, market and financial risk planning, credit repair, specialized lending and appeals rights. These webinars will provide important skills training for those producers seeking credit for ownership and operation of farming and ranching enterprises and those seeking background for successful engagement in land fractionation lending opportunities.

We invite you to participate in this free webinar series conducted with generous support by USDA Farm Service Agency. To register please use the links provided for each webinar in the series. All webinars will be archived on the series webpage.


December 20, 2016, 2 pm Central:  Business Planning to Prepare for FSA Applications

This session is designed to walk potential FSA loan applicants through the fundamental issues in business planning that will aid in their development of strong applications for loans and sustainable approaches to credit access and business performance for their food and agriculture enterprise. (Presenter: H.L. Goodwin Jr.)


January 10, 2017, 2 pm Central:  Credit Repair Ahead of a FSA Loan Application

This session is designed to walk potential FSA applicants through the fundamentals of monitoring their credit and developing strategic approaches to repairing their credit should adverse credit reports appear on their records.  The session will also discuss the many ways potential FSA loan applicants can prevent future problems in their credit reports. (Presenter: Erin Parker)


January 17, 2017, 2 pm Central:  Financial Risk, Marketing Risk and Impacts on FSA Program Compliance

This program will discuss analyzing your risk in the marketplace and how you can best develop plans for handling those market risks.  Your business and market plans are your keys to strategic success but they are also your tools to ensure FSA program compliance. (Presenter: H.L. Goodwin Jr.)


January 24, 2017, 2 pm Central:  Youth Loans and Microloans: How to Prepare for Applications and How to Avoid Default

This session will discuss Farm Service Agency youth loans and microloans. These two tools are especially essential for beginning farmers and ranchers to build your operations and build your credit.  The session will focus on program requirements for accessing and debt repayment under these programs and will discuss the key concerns when planning your business around these loan opportunities. (Presenter: H.L. Goodwin Jr.)


January 31, 2017, 2 pm Central:  Your Rights of Appeal: Understanding the National Appeals Division When Applying for Loans and Debt Servicing

This session will introduce you to the purpose and history of the National Appeals Division and discuss the essential deadlines and process for appealing decisions made by the Farm Service Agency concerning your applications for loans and for loan servicing.  Understanding your appeal rights and processes is also an essential skill when working with USDA.  (Presenter: Toni Stanger)



Hipp, Goodwin Help Quapaw Tribe With Processing Plant

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Quapaw Tribe is building a meat-processing plant near Miami, Oklahoma, and faculty from the University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and School of Law are collaborating to assist in the design and construction of the facility.

The plant, expected to be operational in May, 2017, will also provide U of A students with opportunities for experience and training.

Janie Hipp, director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative in the School of Law, speaks at the groundbreaking on Aug. 31. John Berrey, chair of the Quapaw Tribe and a 1991 U of A graduate, is to the right of Hipp, and H.L. Goodwin, Bumpers College professor and senior economist, is three spots to the right of Hipp. Photo by Anna McKibben

Harold L. Goodwin, a professor and senior economist for Bumpers College, and Janie Hipp, director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative in the School of Law, are helping with the business structure and completion of regulatory procedures. Mike Looper, head of Bumpers College’s Department of Animal Science, and Jason Apple, a professor of animal science, have provided input on design of the plant.

“It is envisioned there would be availability of the facilities for meat judging and grading training, and also for food safety and meat processing training,” said Goodwin, who also works with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. “Most likely, students involved would be from animal science and food science.”

Hipp said many Native American tribes have traditional cultural ties to food production.

“If you go back into individual tribes’ history on this continent, particularly before European contact, there were massive levels of food production,” said Hipp, who is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. “Tribes were not just hunting and gathering as ancient peoples on this continent. Many tribes were involved in food production historically and remain deeply involved in food and agriculture today. Tribes all across the United States have a rich history in food production and the Quapaw Tribe’s move into food processing and food science is an exciting next step.” 

The plant will include a classroom, laboratory and test kitchen, and is being designed to process up to 50 animals per week.

“We have great expertise in meat and food science at U of A and are the center of expertise for tribal agriculture and food because of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative,” said Goodwin. “The proximity of the plant to Fayetteville (about 90 minutes away) makes it ideal for joint collaboration between the first U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified beef and bison processing facility owned by a Native American tribe and a land-grant university.”

“It’s about building an economy that’s agriculture-based that will support local businesses and feed local people, we’re hoping,” said John Berrey, chair of the Quapaw Tribe, a 1991 U of A graduate and member of the alumni association’s National Board of Directors. “Really it’s about taking advantage of our region and all the agriculture that takes place in this region. It’s a business opportunity for sure. It gives us an outlet for our beef products. It also gives us opportunity to take other peoples’ product and process it. It’s both community development and economic development for the tribe.”

The tribe has cattle and bison on a ranch outside Miami. The ultimate goal of the ranch is to raise, slaughter, process, package and ship its own products to local businesses and stores, including the tribe’s restaurants in Quapaw Casino and Downstream Casino Resort.

“Regaining our health in Indian Country is very important,” said Hipp. “You’ve got to have access to foods that are healthy and that are readily available. Investment in local infrastructure to make healthy foods more readily available is part of an important step in healthy food access. Without that infrastructure, tribes, which live in remote areas, are literally just waiting for that next truck to go by.”

Cost of construction is $1 million with $800,000 provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in grant funds. The tribe has applied for additional grants to help pay for equipment at the plant.

The tribe is also partnering with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Oklahoma State University and Missouri State University.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs.

About the University of Arkansas School of Law: The School of Law prepares students for success through a challenging curriculum taught by nationally recognized faculty, unique service opportunities and a close-knit community that puts students first. The school has been ranked among the top 10 “Values in Legal Education” by the National Jurist magazine for four consecutive years and is among the top 46 public law schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.

About the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative: The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative enhances health and wellness in tribal communities by advancing healthy food systems, diversified economic development and cultural food traditions in Indian Country. The initiative empowers tribal governments, farmers, ranchers and food businesses by providing strategic planning and technical assistance; by creating new academic and professional education programs in food systems and agriculture; and by increasing student enrollment in land grant universities in food and agricultural related disciplines.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs.


Videos from First Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition published

Seeds of Native Health: A Campaign for Indigenous Nutrition, has published more than 20 videos from its First Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition held September 26-27, 2016 at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

The conference was a collaboration between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the University of Minnesota. It was organized by a planning committee of Native and non-Native scholars and practitioners led by the university’s Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute.

The conference brought together more than 450 Native leaders, academics, and public health workers to collaborate and integrate traditional, Indigenous knowledge and Western, scientific research in order to combat the significant dietary factors contributing to profound Native health disparities.

The sold-out conference featured more than 30 world-renowned Indigenous nutrition experts and included participants from 32 states, five countries, and dozens of tribes. 

Click the link below to view the presentation videos from the conference.


Resource Center: Presentations


USDA Secretary Appoints Parker to Council for Native American Farming and Ranching

USDA Office of Communications sent this bulletin at 12/05/2016 12:04 PM EST

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of six new members and the re-appointment of five members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching. As a discretionary advisory committee, the Council provides recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on changes to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and other measures that would eliminate barriers to program participation for Native American farmers and ranchers.

“The Council for Native American Farming and Ranching strengthens our partnerships with tribal governments, businesses, farmers, and ranchers,” Vilsack said. “Their work encourages participation of new and historically underserved agricultural producers in USDA programs, and reflects a strong intergovernmental relationship built upon shared values and inclusion.”

With the addition of a representative from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Council membership is changing to better reflect the diversity of resources provided by the USDA. NRCS provides farmers, ranchers and forest managers with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land.

The Council consists of fifteen members, including four USDA officials and eleven Native American leaders and representatives. Members of the Council are appointed for two-year terms by the Secretary of Agriculture. The appointees may include: Native American (American Indian and Alaska Native) farmers or ranchers; representatives of nonprofit organizations that work with Native farmers and ranchers; civil rights professionals; educators; tribal elected leaders; senior USDA officials; and other persons the Secretary deems appropriate.

The following individuals have been appointed to the Council:

  • Angela Peter, Executive Director, Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance, (Native Village of Tyonek), Tyonek, Alaska*
  • Erin Parker, Assistant Director for the Indigenous Food & Ag Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Gilbert Louis III, Firefighter and Farmer / Rancher, (Acoma Pueblo), Grants, N.M.
  • Jerry McPeak, Farmer / Rancher and Former State Legislator, (Muscogee Creek), Warner, Okla.*
  • Mark Wadsworth, Range Conservationist for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, (Shoshone-Bannock), Fort Hall, Idaho*
  • Maggie Goode, Probation Officer and Farmer / Rancher, (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes), Hot Springs, Mont.
  • Roselynn Yazzie, Crop Manager, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, (Navajo Nation), Farmington, N.M.
  • Sarah Vogel, Civil Rights Attorney and Former Agricultural Commissioner for North Dakota, Bismarck, N.D.*
  • Sherry Crutcher, Rancher and Director of Natural Resources for the Shoshone Paiute Tribe, (Shoshone-Paiute Tribe), Owyhee, Nev.
  • Shannon McDaniel, Farmer / Rancher and Executive Director of Agriculture for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Durant, Okla.
  • Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director of Lakota Funds, (Oglala Sioux), Kyle, S.D.* (*Denotes those re-appointed)

Four USDA officials are also appointed to the Council:

  • Jason Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency
  • Dr. Joe Leonard, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
  • Leslie Wheelock (Oneida), Director, Office of Tribal Relations

The Council will hold its next meeting on December 8 and 9 at the Flamingo Hotel, El Dorado room, in Las Vegas, Nev. Members of the public are invited to provide comments to the Council from 2-4 p.m. on December 8.

The Council will continue to work closely with the Office of Tribal Relations and other USDA agencies to improve the success of Native farmers and ranchers to access USDA’s entire portfolio of programs to build and support their businesses.

Release No. 0254.16


Office of Communications

(202) 720-4623