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Register NOW for “So You Think You’re Exempt?” webinar

Many Native American farmers, ranchers, and food operations within tribal jurisdictions conduct business with the assumption that their activities are protected under the sovereign rights of their tribe. While this may be true for some activities, with food safety compliance it certainly may not be the case. This is an individual farm-by-farm, farm business-by-farm business, ranch-by-ranch determination as there are no “overall exemptions” for Tribal farms, ranches, and food businesses. This session will cover the importance of food safety certification in ALL types of tribal food operations and the potential liability that Native farmers and food businesses face if they choose to ignore FSMA compliance or believe incorrectly they are exempt when they are not. Please join us to review the essential information necessary to protect your family, your products, and your business.

“Our farmers and food producers in Indian Country are not exempt from food safety regulations,” IFAI Director Janie Hipp said. “That decision is based on a deep analysis of what you are growing, where it is marketed, where and who is your end consumer of the food, and other factors.  People may not want to hear it, but if your food makes someone sick, and the food is traced back to you, you may be responsible for a series of required events that you aren’t prepared to do.  Tribal sovereignty may not protect you. All these issues and many more will be discussed at this webinar.”

 

Register NOW for this critical food safety training.

 

Thursday, June 15, 2 – 4 pm Central

“So You Think You’re Exempt?”

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/733332857035158275

 

 

There are more webinars in this series, please visit our website to register for all remaining webinars. All presentations are free and open to the public. Many of the presentations use Produce Safety Alliance approved materials and serve as an important preparation for attending in-person events.

If you you have any questions, please contact Food Safety Coordinator Sandy Martini at smartini@uark.edu.

 

 

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Interior releases FY2018 Budget in Brief

Interior releases FY2018 Budget in Brief

FY2018 Interior Budget in Brief

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Census of Agriculture Countdown Begins

Census of Agriculture Countdown Begins

CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE COUNTDOWN BEGINS FOR AMERICA’S FARMERS AND RANCHERS

 

WASHINGTON – America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.

 

“The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”

 

The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

 

“Today, when data are so important, there is strength in numbers,” said Hamer. “For farmers and ranchers, participation in the 2017 Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services and assistance programs – for years to come.”

 

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

 

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.

 

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877- 8339 (TDD)or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

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USDA Expands Meat and Poultry Hotline Hours

Contact:
USDA Office of Communications
press@oc.usda.gov
(202) 720-4623

USDA Expands Meat and Poultry Hotline Hours to Further Provide Food Safety Information to Consumers

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced that it is increasing the delivery of safe food handling and preparation information by expanding the hours of its Meat and Poultry Hotline and Ask Karen chat services.  As detailed in the Agency’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, FSIS is focusing on the reduction of foodborne illness, and one way to contribute to that reduction is to increase public awareness of safe food handling information.

FSIS’ Meat and Poultry Hotline has been educating consumers since 1985. The toll-free telephone service assists in the prevention of foodborne illnesses by answering consumers’ questions about the safe storage, handling and preparation of meat, poultry and egg products. Beginning today, the hotline will be open for two additional hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

“Our hotline provides a valuable service in educating consumers about how to safely prepare food,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. “By keeping the hotline open an additional two hours, we are expanding our reach to allow more consumers, including those on the West Coast, to have their food safety questions answered.”

The hotline is accompanied by Ask Karen, a 24-hour online service that provides answers to thousands of frequently asked questions and also allows consumers to email or live-chat with a food safety specialist during operating hours.

For 32 years the Meat and Poultry Hotline has answered questions about food manufacturer recalls, food poisoning, food safety during power outages, and the inspection of meat, poultry and egg products. From novice cooks roasting their first turkey to experienced food handlers asking about foodborne bacteria, the Meat and Poultry Hotline has answered more than 3 million calls since its inception.

“Our hotline staff are experts in their field and have backgrounds in nutrition, food technology and public health,” said Almanza. “Experts are available to talk with people in English and Spanish, so we are able to help address the food safety needs of diverse communities.”

Consumers can contact the Meat and Poultry Hotline to speak to a live food expert at 1-888-674-6854, or visit Ask Karen to chat or email (in English or Spanish), Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time/7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time.

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Martinez wins Indian Ag Youth Alliance essay contest

Martinez wins Indian Ag Youth Alliance essay contest

Mackenize Martinez, a member of the Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit class of 2016, was recently awarded first place and a $500 check in the Intertribal Agriculture Council Indian Ag Youth Alliance Essay Contest.

Martinez’s essay addressed the need for intertribal agriculture extension services in Indian Country and described her vision for the future of Native American agriculture.

“I feel that food sovereignty is important in Indian country because it is such a necessity in everyday life,” Martinez said. “All Native American tribes have some sort of ancestral connection to agriculture.”

When Martinez talks about food sovereignty, she’s referring to the right of Native American peoples to create and define their own food systems through environmentally sustainable and culturally relevant methods and processes.

The goal of organizations like the Intertribal Agriculture Council that recognized Martinez’s essay, is to strengthen the food sovereignty of Indian Country by providing extension services and technical assistance to Native American communities and reservations across the United States.

“Many native communities are very rural and isolated,” Martinez said. “For them to be able to feed themselves would drastically help the economy of their communities and essentially improve the quality of life on reservations.”

Martinez understands rural isolation and its connection to agriculture. The high school senior is based out of Zwole, La., with a population of 1,984 according to a 2013 census, where she has been involved in showing livestock and gardening since her early youth.

“I showed my first hen in fourth grade, but I did it on and off, it wasn’t every year, and I showed pigs when I was in the eighth grade,” Martinez said. “My family’s always had our garden … it definitely took everybody to keep it going.”

Throughout her high school years, she said she has been heavily involved with Future Farmer’s of America, competing in extemporaneous speaking, and agronomy and floriculture events.

She also conducts Broiler chicken projects, where she raises 15 to 20 chicks for livestock presentation and meat production. “We’re trying to grow these birds from a six ounce chick to a ten pound bird in seven weeks.”

Martinez is a proud citizen of the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb, La., whose headquarters are in Zwole. The tribe was recognized by the state of Louisiana in 1978, and has been working toward federal recognition ever since.

In her essay, Martinez discussed how state recognized tribes could play a greater role in improving agriculture throughout Indian Country.

“I feel that all of Indian Country would benefit from state recognized tribes playing a bigger role in food sovereignty because there are so many successful agricultural producers who aren’t members of federally recognized tribes,” Martinez stated in an email. “State recognized tribes are such a prolific agricultural force on their own and have to be very independent and self sufficient.

“State recognized tribes have so much potential to really advance the movement for food sovereignty in Indian country.”

Martinez’s essay was one of three winning papers in the Indian Ag Youth Alliance essay contest and conference, which brought together 56 Native American youth for a modified version of the IAC’s 30th annual membership meeting in Las Vegas, Dec. 4-8, 2016.

The annual meeting is designed to educate, empower, and strengthen the ever-growing network of Native American farmers, ranchers and agriculturalists working throughout Indian Country.

To enter the essay contest and be accepted to the conference, youth were asked to read the 1987 Final Findings and Recommendations of the National Indian Agricultural Working Group, a report that laid the foundations for establishing the Intertribal Agriculture Council.

Martinez said she was shocked when she found out that her paper was one of the winning essays.

“When I found out I’d actually won the essay contest I was like ‘woah,’ this is cool.“ Martinez said. “And then I actually got to Vegas and saw how big of a deal they made out of it, and how much of an honor it was to actually win it, and that really opened up some more doors too, so it was a really great experience.”

After giving her speech, Martinez was offered a scholarship to attend the University of Arkansas. She said after considering her options, the young agriculturalist has decided to attend McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., where she’ll pursue a major in agricultural business.

“I’d really like to study it and relate it to how it affects my own community,” Martinez said. “And learning some management skills is something everyone needs.

“I think when you talk about agriculture and its importance, you have to know that it affects everybody everyday, so it’s not something to be taken lightly.”

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Hipp receives public advocate award from NCAIED

Hipp receives public advocate award from NCAIED

The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative Director Janie Simms Hipp received the 2017 Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award at the annual National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development conference.

The award was presented on March 14 at the 31st National Reservation Summit American Indian Enterprise Luncheon held at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

She was selected for the award based on her leadership and exemplary commitment to advancing economic progress in the American Indian business community.

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IFAI launches food safety webinar series

IFAI launches food safety webinar series

The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) was selected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide Native American Outreach, Training, Technical Assistance and Education to ensure compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FSMA was passed by Congress in 2010 and the final requirements implementing the FSMA were put into place in late 2015.

The IFAI has developed a series of food safety webinars designed to help Native American farmers, ranchers and food producers to begin to understand the importance of food safety and what is necessary to reach compliance under the FSMA. Attendees will learn about produce safety, food-borne pathogens, worker health, wildlife, land use, post-harvest handling, and legal issues associated with food safety in Indian Country. This series is part of a two-fold effort to reach producers and food businesses.  In the coming days, IFAI will launch a series of two-day in-person events in regional locations.  Stay tuned for the announcement of these hands-on trainings.

Please use the links below to register for the webinars in this series. All presentations are free and open to the public, and each session will include time for attendee questions and discussion of issues with the presenter.  Many of the presentations use Produce Safety Alliance approved materials and serve as an important preparation for attending in-person events.

 

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2 – 4 pm Central

Introduction to Produce Safety (Part 1)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6864712168343522563

 

Thursday, March 9, 2 – 4 pm Central

Introduction to Produce Safety (Part 2)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9115479540610317827

 

Thursday, April 13, 2 – 4 pm Central

Microbiology Basics (Part 1)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2886616426887218435

 

Thursday, May 11, 2 – 4 pm Central

Microbiology Basics (Part 2)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4485671371533965571

 

Thursday, June 8, 2 – 4 pm Central

The Intersection of Business Planning, Risk Management and Food Safety

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2817221850011820803

 

Thursday, July 6, 2 – 4 pm Central

Worker Health, Hygiene and Training

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4843324911863508227

 

Thursday, August 10, 2 – 4 pm Central

Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9021521873970463747

 

Thursday, Sep 7, 2 – 4 pm Central

Postharvest Handling (Part 1)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4382652629569590531

 

Thursday, Oct 12, 2 – 4 pm Central

Postharvest Handling (Part 2)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5135963230131034371

 

Thursday, Nov 9, 2 – 4 pm Central

Legal Issues in Tribal Food Safety (Part 1)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/339407525632664323

 

Thursday, Dec 7, 2 – 4 pm Central

Legal Issues in Tribal Food Safety (Part 2)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4544907560480546563

 

Any questions about this webinar series or other FSMA trainings should be directed to IFAI director Janie Hipp (jhipp@uark.edu), Sandy Martini (smartini@uark.edu) or Dr. H.L. Goodwin (hlgood@uark.edu).

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Hipp Receives President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Service

Hipp Receives President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Service

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Janie Simms Hipp, director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative in the University of Arkansas School of Law recently received   the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award, from the Corporation for National and Community Service, recognized her lifelong dedication to serving the Chickasaw Nation and advancing the nutritional and educational needs of indigenous people across the continent.

Janie Hipp

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor conferred by the corporation and is reserved for individuals who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime. The prize, awarded and signed by President Barack Obama in the fall of 2016, was presented to Hipp in January by corporation officials.

“Janie has dedicated her life to expanding opportunities for Native Americans around the country,” said Max Finberg, former director of AmeriCorps VISTA. “She has lived a life of service to others and is extremely deserving of the Presidential Lifetime Volunteer Service Award. Inspired by those who have come before her, she continues to invest in the next generation of Native leaders through the Tribal Youth Summit and otherwise. I am grateful for the chance I had to work with her to improve life throughout Indian Country. She is a shining example of a servant leader and someone deserving of this recognition.”

“It’s hard to imagine anyone who has done more to empower the next generation of leaders in tribal agriculture than Janie,” said Stacy Leeds, dean of the School of Law. “Her dedication and tireless commitment to mentoring and developing others is inspiring.”

Hipp has helped expand efforts to increase nutritional access for tribal communities and protect and promote traditional agricultural knowledge. She is an attorney and graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law master of laws program in Agricultural and Food Law, the nation’s first advanced law degree program in agricultural and food law.

She is the founder of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of Tribal Relations in the Office of the Secretary, and she served two terms on the agency’s Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. She also served on two delegations to the United Nations in the areas of women’s issues and Indigenous issues.

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 “Best 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 Corporation for National and Community Service/President’s Volunteer Service Award: In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation launched the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2003 to recognize the importance of volunteers to America’s strength and national identity and to honor the deeply invested volunteers whose service is multiplied through the inspiration they give others. Today, the program continues as an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, managed in partnership with Points of Light, an international nonprofit with the mission to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action to change the world.

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.

CONTACTS

Janie Simms Hipp, director (Chickasaw)

Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative

479-575-4699, jhipp@uark.edu

Bryan Pollard, director of tribal relations (Cherokee)

Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative

479-575-3765, bpollard@uark.edu

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Second Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition announced

Second Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition announced

Save the date

Second Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition
September 18-20, 2017
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

The annual conference brings together tribal officials, researchers, practitioners, and others to discuss the current state of Indigenous and academic scientific knowledge about Native nutrition and food science, and identifies new areas of work.

An informal evening reception will be held on September 17 for those attending the conference.

Registration will open in March 2017. Sign up for the newsletter or go to the website to receive updates about the conference.

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Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative Announced as New VISTA Hub

Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative Announced as New VISTA Hub

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Representatives from the Corporation for National and Community Service met with staff of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law on Jan. 30-31 to discuss the implementation of a new national volunteer partnership program with VISTA, the Volunteers in Service to America.

Initiative director Janie Simms Hipp and members of her staff met with Opal Sims and Derek Cromwell, from the service’s Arkansas office, and Michael Laverty, the area manager of the service’s southwest cluster office of field liaison. They discussed how the organizations will work together to recruit, train and deploy a cadre of “Native Food Sovereignty Fellows” to selected locations across Indian Country.

The 21 initial fellows will be AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers working in low-resource Native American communities to establish and stabilize food sovereignty efforts, food systems, and tribal economies to build economic opportunities in food and agriculture.

Cromwell hopes that this partnership will improve the lives of Native American people.

“That’s what we are here for,” Cromwell said. “If we can change the life of one person, that’s a success. That’s important.”

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota announced earlier in the month that it will provide a $200,000 gift to the partnership to fund the cost-share for VISTA members’ living allowance in the first year of the program. The gift is part of the community’s Seeds of Native Health campaign to improve Native American nutrition and food access. This will be the first time a tribe has provided funding to deploy VISTA members nationally.

“There is a nutritional health crisis in Indian Country, and its leading cause is the lack of access to healthy, affordable food,” said Community Chairman Charles R. Vig. “This partnership offers a new model to address food access problems at the tribal level. Our tribe is excited to support the work of AmeriCorps VISTA and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative to recruit and place teams of volunteers with the training, creativity, commitment, and strong work ethic needed to assist tribes achieve better food access.”

AmeriCorps VISTA, operated by the Corporation for National and Community Service, is the national service program established specifically to help alleviate poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 as the domestic version of the Peace Corps, VISTA taps the skills, talents and passion of more than 8,000 Americans annually to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations or local government agencies to carry out programs that tackle poverty.

“We are so proud to support this culturally competent and innovative approach to addressing specific tribal community needs, by harnessing the organizational support available through our partner, the University of Arkansas’ Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and the generosity of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community,” said former AmeriCorps VISTA Director Max Finberg.

The initiative will recruit, train, deploy and supervise the work of these VISTA volunteers. Created by School of Law Dean Stacy Leeds and directed by Hipp, the initiative focuses on multidisciplinary research, service and education in support of native communities. Its work encompasses tribal food code development, feeding program analysis, national food systems scans and other food sovereignty related projects. The initiative also hosts the Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit, a 10-day educational event for at least 100 native youth to build their skills in food systems development and learn how food and agriculture policy impacts their tribal communities.

“Tribes across the country are struggling to access healthy food and develop sustainable food systems,” Leeds said. “The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has been a longstanding leader in support of tribal sovereignty and now is the national leader working on improving native nutritional health. Their support of AmeriCorps VISTA is critical to tackling hunger and food insecurity and building strong native food systems in Indian Country. This new effort will take these commitments one step further and support the deployment of VISTA recruits within tribal communities to gain on-the-ground experience and assist tribes in their work toward healthy food access.” 

For more information about this or other initiative programs, please contact director Janie Simms Hipp at jhipp@uark.edu.

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 AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs, and leads volunteer initiatives for the nation. Since 1965, AmeriCorps VISTA has been at the forefront of helping communities across America alleviate poverty. Each year, more than 8,000 AmeriCorps VISTA members serve in 3,000 locations across the country, supporting programs that reduce homelessness, improve health services, expand job opportunities, develop financial assets, grow access to affordable food and housing, and expand access to technology for those living in rural and urban areas of poverty across America.

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community: The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Making its top priority to be a good neighbor, the SMSC is one of the top 10 philanthropists in Minnesota and donates more to charity than any other Indian tribe in America. It also focuses on being a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources.

About Seeds of Native Health: Seeds of Native Health is the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s philanthropic campaign to improve Native American nutrition. Launched in 2015, the $5 million campaign has provided grants to local communities and funded research, education, and capacity-building efforts. Partners include the American Heart Association, First Nations Development Institute, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, the Notah Begay III Foundation, the University of Arkansas School of Law’s Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, and the University of Minnesota. More information is available at SeedsofNativeHealth.org.

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 46 public law schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.

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