By Farm Journal Editors
With the number of new job openings expected to increase this year, college graduates may find themselves at an advantage for landing their first full-time job. Agriculture majors offer a wealth of job opportunities in a wide array of areas, and the pace of job growth is expected to sustain momentum.
To help develop tomorrow’s agricultural leaders, the America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will partner with farmers to award more than $500,000 to deserving students pursuing ag-related degrees in 2018.
Administered by the National FFA Organization (FFA), these scholarships are awarded in $1,500 increments to students looking to pursue post-secondary education in an ag-related field of study. Eligible fields of study are not solely limited to traditional ag-related fields, such as farming and agronomy, but also include education, engineering, mathematics, data science, and communications, among many others.
Grow Ag Leaders scholarships are open to students 23 years of age and under who live in eligible counties, and are looking to enroll or are currently enrolled in trade schools, community colleges and four-year universities. Students need not be FFA members to apply. The deadline for students to apply is February 1, 2018, and students must obtain two farmer endorsements of their application by February 8, 2018.
Since the Grow Ag Leaders program began in 2014, it has awarded nearly $1.7 million in scholarships to promising students pursuing their education in agriculture. A complete list of program rules, eligibility requirements and information on the program is available at www.GrowAgLeaders.com.
Reposted from the San Francisco Chronicle. Read the full story here.
FORT BRAGG — A cold evening drizzle fell on this Mendocino County town as Aryana Henthorne and her family gathered on a spit of land just off Highway 1.
Henthorne’s mother, Hillary Renick, 42, a native-food advocate and lawyer at the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Sacramento, found that friends and relatives used to be surprised when she gathered traditional foods.
“It wasn’t valued so much as it is now,” she said.
It’s only been a generation or two since reservation children could be forcibly sent off to boarding schools by the government or private groups. That practice officially ended only with the 1978 federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
“People were persecuted if they were native,” said Martina Morgan, 40, a member of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians in Stewarts Point (Sonoma County). That made following native food traditions less popular, she said. “I was lucky that I was a nosy little kid and my elders taught me.”
Brian Nez carries a deer during a deer hunt at Sherwood Rancheria in Mendocino County. Photo: Renan Ozturk
The Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians gathers food only within its aboriginal tribal boundaries. Local and state laws restrict or limit access to many traditional gathering places, including several designated marine protected areas.
A few years ago, the city built a coastal access trail next to the tribal members’ homes in Fort Bragg, including fenced-off access to the tidal zone where members can gather mussels, abalone and seaweed. The trail is adjacent to a former lumber-mill site owned by a Koch Industries subsidiary that is in the planning stages for rezoning that would allow for a hotel and commercial, residential and industrial uses, according to city planning documents.
Renick said the tribe has not been consulted enough during the planning of the trail and the mill site, especially considering that both were originally part of the Mendocino Indian Reservation, a 25,000-acre plot that Congress established in 1856. The Bureau of Indian Affairs allowed a lumber mill to set up shop there in 1858, forcing the remaining Indians off the land in 1868.
In addition to its role as a gathering site, the former reservation contains historic burial mounds, which Renick has tried to protect. Such legal fights are expensive and difficult, she said, even when they’re defended by international law such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which guarantees “the right to life.”
“The right to life means you have the right to subsist,” Renick said. “You have the right to water; you have the right to gather, even if you don’t have a (legal) right to that land.”
Marie Jones, Fort Bragg’s community development director, said the city has cooperated fully with the tribe. “I would say we have gone way above and beyond what we are required on a legal basis,” she said.
In addition to geographic limitations, tribal members must follow strict state limits for collecting abalone, like everyone else. They also face pushback from a growing commercial seaweed trade, Renick said. She recalled helping an elder from her tribe go down to the beach, with her walker, to collect seaweed. They were confronted by a professional forager in an expensive-looking wetsuit.
“That’s my rock,” he told her. “Can you move on?”
Renick’s daughter, Henthorne, approaches the fight to reclaim native food from a medical rather than legal angle. In the rural areas where most reservations are located, access to healthy groceries has been limited. American Indians have twice the rate of heart disease that the general population has, according to a 2015 study from the National Institutes of Health, which attributed its increase over the past 50 years to changes in diet, decreased physical activity and increased smoking among the population.
Henthorne is writing a grant to lead a weeklong immersion camp on gathering and preparing traditional foods next summer. Her eventual plan is to become a doctor at a clinic that serves her tribe, with the goal of connecting the members back to native foods and lifestyle.
“I’m the one who’s being the driving force for my generation to go do something,” said Henthorne. “If I can be the example that this is what we can do, I hope that more people will be inspired.”
For the dinner in Fort Bragg, the family fried seaweed collected from the coast, and cooked black trumpet mushrooms that had been foraged and dried. A sweet and nutty acorn mush was made from a special stash of acorns that had aged since 2010, a technique that reduces tannins and bitterness. Salmon was cut into large chunks and threaded through redwood spears to prop over the fire for a long, slow smoke.
The menu reflected the way the Pomos traditionally gathered all the food they needed from the shore, in addition to what they hunted and traded with inland tribes. But the meal itself also represented something more — a way for generations to connect with each other.
While growing up, Henthorne would go with her elders to the coast constantly, especially in summer. She learned to use an A-frame net to catch surf fish and how to pluck seaweed, mussels and abalone off the rocks during low tides. Her mother did the same thing before her. Those outings, which led to meals like this, are how memories — and histories — are forged.
“That’s when all the stories come out, around food,” said Renick. “You’re sitting there, and then you get to go through the centuries with them.”
Tara Duggan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @taraduggan
Reposted from the Miami News Record. See the full story here.
The Quapaw Tribe is considered a national leader in agriculture and their Ag enterprises and the leader’s enthusiasm and commitment are the reasons Berrey was asked to speak at the prestigious event.
WASHINGTON – The Quapaw Tribe’s development and accomplishments in agricultural endeavors have gained national notoriety.
John Berrey, Chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, served as the invited keynote speaker at the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2017 American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month in Washington, DC last Wednesday.
The Quapaw Tribe has made innovative and impactful investments in agriculture with the Quapaw Cattle Company, Quapaw Processing Plant, Quapaw Honey, O-Gah-Pah Coffee, and O-Gah-Pah Bison programs and businesses – and the Ag world has taken notice.
The Quapaw Tribe is considered a national leader in agriculture and their Ag enterprises and the leader’s enthusiasm and commitment are the reasons Berrey was asked to speak at the prestigious event.
“It’s exciting for me. I like talking to people about it,” he said. “We’re really trying to get tribes around the country to create a new cooperative that adopts tribes that maybe they have the land, but they need help to get started.”
Most of the Quapaw Tribe’s agricultural programs were the first, or are the only programs of their kind in Indian Country.
In partnership with multiple federal agencies and state leaders, the Quapaw Tribe is also engaged in environmental cleanup of the Tar Creek Superfund Site.
“The challenges are always capital, that’s tough for tribes and non-tribal entities, and you really have to have the support of people who see the vision, and we have all that,” Berrey said. “We have a very solid tribal government. We have responsibilities to our people, and to the community. You know when we think of ourselves; we don’t just think of the Quapaw Tribe, we think of Ottawa County of Oklahoma, and we think of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. We’re concerned, and we want to be part of uplifting everyone.”
The recent grand opening of the Quapaw Processing Plant brought palpable excitement to the local and state agricultural community, and economy and the Ag world has taken notice. The recent invitation to speak at a national gathering is another validation and testament to the interest shown in the Tribe’s programs.
“It was an honor for me and the tribe. What’s interesting is the Secretary sought me out. He sent me a letter and said I want to meet you, I’ve heard about you,” Berrey said
After the event, Berrey got to spend substantial time with the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in his office in Washington, DC.
“He is just my kind of guy. He is very friendly, very open. You know he and I are a lot alike, he wants to help feed people and grow an Ag economy,” Berrey said.
Berrey is rightfully proud of the accomplishments of the 4,800 member Quapaw Tribe and the recognition of the importance of the Tribe’s farming and ranching and other endeavors, which has created $700 million in Wall Street revenues.
“After next year it will be nearly a billion,” Berrey said.
The Tribe’s casino ventures, Downstream Casino and the Quapaw Casino helped fund other tribal business ventures, including the agricultural enterprises.
“That’s what gave us the capital, number one, but number two, we have our own markets. Even though we manage them separately, the casino buys our meat at a fair market value,” Berrey said. “So, we have a high-quality product that’s managed well, and it serves the needs of the resort which serves 1,200 people a day, just employees, plus maybe another 4,000 to 5,000 patrons a day.”
Berrey says feels it is of great value to seek enterprise diversification and to develop supportive, self-sustaining businesses.
“We enjoy it. We like farming. Now we have a couple thousand acres that are going to be row crops, and now source non-GMO corn,” he said. “We hope we’re building something that our grandchildren will continue to grow, and all of our community in Ottawa County and the Joplin area, everyone is going to benefit from, not just us.”
At the event, Berrey was not only able to encourage and inspire others, but he was able to make connections and network with others in Native American and national Ag.
“It was an awesome opportunity. I spend a lot of time in DC, and I go to a lot of federal agencies, the EPA, the Department of the Interior, but when you walk into the Department of Agriculture, there’s a different environment there,” said Berrey. “Everybody from the people from the guard desk to the people cleaning the bathrooms to the secretaries, the assistants, everybody seems happy and seems like they’re busy. It’s refreshing, and it’s exciting.”
“The Dept. of Agriculture wants to feed people – that’s the mission of the Secretary, and what he now believes is Native Americans should be very much a part of that because we are some of the largest landowners in America.” Berrey continued. “What I took away was open arms from the Secretary and also true interest in including tribes in effort to feed all of America.”
Berrey said other tribes such as the Navajo, Blackfeet Nation, and Sioux have large farming and ranching agricultural enterprises and programs.
The Quapaw Tribe’s hope is that their own Ag programs and political relationships bring renewed interest and attention to the long well-established farming and ranching heritage of this area, such as hay and cattle production in northeast Oklahoma, and creates an agricultural hub from here to build economically sound progress and more and more jobs.
According to Berrey, support and representation in Washington DC from Scott Pruitt, Senator Jim Inhofe, and Markwayne Mullin, have been positive for the Tribe.
“They’re not about themselves, they’re really about the people of Oklahoma,” he said.
The Quapaw Tribe is committed to agricultural program development while working with other tribes to foster and strengthen tribal food sovereignty and environmental stewardship while also aiding America’s food security.
“My dream is we continue to grow exponentially and clean up the land and make it better as stewards of the land, but I also see us creating a cooperative among tribes throughout the country that collectively can help feed America,” Berrey said.
President Donald Trump, through presidential proclamation, declared November National Native American Heritage Month celebrating and honoring Native American agricultural contributions throughout history to present day.
In the proclamation Trump promises aggressive regulatory reform with government-to-government consultation, to help revitalize the Nation’s commitment to Indian Country, tribal sovereignty and self-determination.
“Native Americans are a testament to the deep importance of culture and vibrancy of traditions, passed down throughout generations. This month, I encourage all of our citizens to learn about the rich history and culture of the Native American people,” Trump wrote in the proclamation.
Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.
The University of Arkansas School of Law will offer a “Tribal Governments & Business Entities” special topics course taught by dean Stacy Leeds (Cherokee) during the Winter Intersession. The registration deadline is January 2, 2018.
The course will survey the exercise of modern governmental authority in the United States including jurisdictional conflict and cooperation with state, local and federal governments. In addition to discussing legal and regulatory frameworks, the course will highlight business and economic growth opportunities and challenges.
Tribal Governments & Business Entities
1 credit hour
CLE credit available
Registration deadline: Jan. 2
Mon-Fri, Jan. 8-12, 2018
For more information or to register, contact Dean Leeds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Seeds of Native Health campaign is excited to announce our partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) to create a grant program that supports health-focused advocacy efforts in Native American communities.
The new Fertile Ground Grant Program funds tribes, Native advocates, Native youth, and Native-led organizations to create sustainable community health improvements through nutrition and food sovereignty efforts. The grants of up to $35,000 will provide support for:
- Native-led convenings to identify community health priorities
- Advocacy and policy strategies that address improving health outcomes
- Access to healthy food
- Food sovereignty work rooted in tradition, culture, and Indigenous knowledge
The program is funded by $100,000 from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community through its Seeds of Native Health philanthropic campaign and $100,000 from the AHA through its Voices for Healthy Kids campaign. AICAF will serve as the intermediary partner and administer the program.
Applications for grants are due December 19, 2017.
November is Native American Heritage Month, and a time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for as we enjoy the harvest season during gatherings with family and friends. In Indian Country, culture and tradition are sustained through shared meals with family and the community.
This month is a time to celebrate our rich and diverse cultures, traditions and histories, and to also acknowledge the important contributions that Native people have made to food and agriculture. This is also the perfect time to educate the general public about tribal histories and our proud food traditions.
Native American Heritage Month also recognizes the significant contributions the Native Americans have made as the first peoples of the lands that now constitute the United States. The foods we all eat, the medicines and remedies we all use, the highways we all travel, our literature and arts, have all been recognized by U.S. leaders as integral to American life and all carry the indelible imprint of Native peoples. Equally important during this month is acknowledging the countless American Indians who have served and currently serve in our Armed Forces.
The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative encourages our friends and supporters to celebrate Native American Heritage month by honoring the many Native American farmers, ranchers and food businesses that work every day during this harvest season to feed our people and our communities. We also take this time to give special support to our next generation of Native leaders in food and agriculture whose picture we feature in our message today. Feeding ourselves while feeding others is the important work ahead for these young Native leaders who we honor and acknowledge during this important month.
Register today for this information webinar on scheduled for November 14 to learn about recent changes to the 504 loan and grant program. This training opportunity is open to individuals and organizations including nonprofits and public agencies who work with affordable housing products such as weatherization, home repairs, and 504 application packaging.
The one hour course will be offered as follows:
- Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 11a.m. EST
- Please utilize both audio and web connection instructions below:
- For audio, dial into the conference line (800-981-3173) from your phone and provide the access code (5746#)
- For web, navigate to the following url: https://usdard.adobeconnect.com/pn504trng1114/
Upcoming trainings will be listed on our website under “Forms and Resources” https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants
This training will provide:
- A review of the changes to the Section 504 direct repair loan and grant program.
- A discussion of RD Procedure Notice 504 published on October 5, 2017 https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/pn504.pdf.
- An examination of the new 504 Automated Worksheet and process.
Questions regarding this announcement may be directed to Danielle Eason (202) 690-1530.
By Cindy Yurth
Published October 29, 2017
CHINLE, ARIZONA – It’s common knowledge there are no jobs on the Navajo Nation. But to Delane Atcitty, that’s a bunch of bull.
“There are jobs at home,” declared Atcitty, a rangeland management consultant who spoke at last week’s Native American Farm and Ranch Training at Acoma Pueblo. “There’s always been a job at home.”
That job is ranching but most Navajos don’t really treat their ranches as a business, Atcitty said.
If the tribe and individual ranchers could just “connect the dots” a bit, Atcitty contends, the vast rangelands and tribal ranches of the Navajo Nation could be producing a good living for both individual cattlemen and the tribe.
“We have everything we need right here,” Atcitty told the Times, “but we aren’t using it so it works together.”
At the moment, the Navajo Nation is crowded with tiny ranches competing for marginal grassland. There’s not much incentive to alternate pastures on the open range, Atcitty pointed out, because if you leave a pasture for the winter, someone else will drive his cattle onto it.
“It’s the tragedy of the commons,” he said.
So most people end up grazing as many cattle as they can over the summer and are left feeding hay in the winter. This is bad not only for the cattle and the rangeland, but for the rancher.
“People are choosing quantity over quality,” observed Atcitty, “when it actually almost cancels out. You can get almost as much for 50 good cows as you can for 100 bad cows, with a lot less work.”
Figuring the cow-cost
A lot of people, Atcitty noted, are not figuring out their cow-cost — the amount of money it takes to raise one calf to salable size.
“If you’re hauling water and feeding hay at $14 to $16 per bale,” Atcitty explained, “your cow-cost could be as high as $1,200 to $1,400. Then you turn around and sell it for $1,100. At that point, you may be living the ranch lifestyle, but you’re not a rancher.”
Diné small ranchers also tend to get too attached to their animals and keep them too long, Atcitty opined.
“I’ll be hanging out at the corral with someone, and they’ll say, ‘That’s Mabel. That one’s Gertie. We’re keeping Gertie around another year. Maybe she’ll have a calf.’
“Well, if Gertie doesn’t have a calf, you’ve spent $800 on her for nothing,” Atcitty said. “Once you start naming your animals, that’s it.”
Cattlemen tend to be independent types, Atcitty noted, but the reality is that in a place like the Navajo Nation, where resources are few and widespread, small ranches are not viable unless they can collaborate. Groups like the 14R, a coalition of ranches in Nahata Dziil, make more sense.
“Let’s say you pack four or five cows in a trailer and drive 50 miles to Belen to sell them,” Atcitty postulated. “You’ve probably spent $120 on fuel, and if you brought along a helper or your family, that’s another $80 in food. You have to figure your time is money too.”
“Throw in with some other producers, rent a semi, and deliver 50 head,” he said.
Cooperatives can go in together for things like vaccines and dewormers, minimizing cost by buying in bulk.
This article was first published in the Navajo Times. All rights reserved.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas School of Law’s Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative is hosting two Emerson National Hunger Fellows from the Congressional Hunger Center in Washington, D.C.
The center selected the initiative as a host site due to its focus on tribal policy reform, including regional food policy discussions at tribal communities across the United States and development of a model food code for use by tribal governments. This will be the first time the center has placed fellows in Arkansas.
The Congressional Hunger Center works to make issues of hunger a priority to policymakers in the United States government and to raise a new generation of leaders to address issues of hunger and poverty. Its mission is to train and inspire leaders who work to end hunger and to bridge the gap between grassroots efforts and national and international public policy to provide access to nutritious, affordable and culturally appropriate food.
“We are honored and delighted to host the visiting Hunger Fellows from this nationally prestigious program,” said Janie Hipp, director of the initiative. “Hunger is persistent within tribal communities throughout the United States with over 25 percent of all Native peoples relying daily upon federal feeding programs to address the health impacts of hunger and food insecurity.”
In some communities, the prevalence of food insecurity can rise to well over 50 percent. The initiative seeks to turn the corner on this humanitarian crisis through strong tribal and federal policies, integrated self-determination and self-governance and a deeper understanding of the connections between policies, resources, actions and outcomes.
“The Fellows we are working with will help us and others to better understand this landscape,” Hipp said.
The 2018 visiting fellows are Sarah Goldman from West Hartford, Connecticut, and Corey Malone-Smolla from Richmond, Virginia.
Goldman is founder of the Heart of the Heartland Program, a five-week summer program for undergraduate students that combines hands-on practical training with a policy, biology and business management curriculum. While at the initiative, she will convene roundtable discussions that will foster important intertribal discussion and collaboration so that tribes may come together to address national food policy while meeting their community needs around food, agriculture and nutrition.
“I’m drawn to the organization’s mission and relentless work toward allowing tribal governments to be the active agents in food systems change in Indian Country,” Goldman said. “I hope that — through my time at IFAI — I am able to become a reliable facilitator, advocate and source of information as I conduct policy roundtable discussions.”
Malone-Smolla developed her passion for food access as Yale University’s director of food recovery, where she coordinated the daily collection of leftover food from Yale’s dining halls to be delivered to soup kitchens in the New Haven area. Her fellowship will support the Model Comprehensive Food and Agriculture Code Project, which will create a model legal code for food and agriculture, hunger, nutrition, health and economic development. This model, along with an implementation process, will be shared with all tribes within the U.S. to aid development of localized economic strategies and food policy interventions.
“I hope to learn from everyone at the initiative the best ways to collaborate with individuals and communities across movements and justice initiatives.” Malone-Smolla said. “I see my work as aligning with the initiative’s goal of increasing involvement in disciplines relating to food and agriculture. I know that this opportunity will affirm and direct my desire to work for food justice for all.”
Learn more about the fellowship and the Congressional Hunger Center at www.hungercenter.org.
About the Congressional Hunger Center: Established in 1993, the center’s mission is to train and inspire leaders who work to end hunger and advocate public policies that create a food secure world. The staff and fellows are committed to fulfilling the goal of the former House Select Committee on Hunger, “to find real solutions to hunger and poverty.” It administers the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program and the Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program.
About the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative: The 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 University of Arkansas School of Law: The University of Arkansas 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. With alumni in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, two territories and 20 countries, it 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 42 public law schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.
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. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
NAPLP is a full scholarship program for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian undergraduate and graduate students to study applied American politics at the George Washington University in Washington DC. As part of the Semester in Washington Politics program, NAPLP is funded by a generous gift from AT&T. The scholarship covers up to nine credits in tuition, on-campus housing, round-trip air travel, and a stipend for books and living expenses ($2,400 in two installments). Students also have the opportunity to have an internship in places such as a congressional office, national tribal organization or a federal agency and to develop lasting connections with a cohort of Native American students from across the country.
CIPP is the George Washington University-based center whose purpose is to research, educate, and promote public awareness on issues of significance to Indigenous communities. In the GW spirit of scholarship and service, we hope that students who participate in NAPLP return to their schools and communities with fresh perspectives, knowledge, and skills about the political process and community organizing and that they feel better prepared to give back to and take a leadership role in their communities.
Students may apply online at www.naplp.gwu.edu. Applications are due November 1, 2017. Please contact the NAPLP office at 202-994-3284 or at email@example.com with any questions you may have.