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IAC Youth Ambassadors attend Cattlemen’s Association forum

IAC Youth Ambassadors attend Cattlemen’s Association forum

By Zachary Ilbery, IAC Intern

Recently six Intertribal Agriculture Council Youth Ambassadors had the opportunity to travel to Billings, Montana, to attend the National US Cattlemen’s Association Producer Forum where they were a part of panel discussions about risk management and trade under the new presidential administration.

They also learned about sustainable antibiotic use in livestock, conservation practices and what retailers like to see. The youth had the opportunity to meet and and talk with individuals within the agriculture industry such as Kevin Hueser, the Senior Vice President – Beef Margin Management for Tyson Foods.

The youth participants also learned about new policy taking place at the Capitol and heard from US Senate and House of Representative members about legislation affecting the cattle industry.

 

Pictured from left: US Cattlemen’s Association President Kenny Graner, Ellise David, Sophia Keesie, Sequoyah Osbourne, Nicholas Naranjo, Zachary Ilbery, Senior Policy Advisor for the US Cattlemen’s Association Jess Peterson.

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IFAI reps attend State Democratic Rural Summit

IFAI reps attend State Democratic Rural Summit

The Summit, attended by IFAI Director Janie Simms Hipp and Policy Director Colby Duren, explores ways to drive investment to rural America to grow the economy, create jobs, and improve the quality of life.

Speakers and panel discussions will focus on:

– investing in basic infrastructure like building roads, schools, and hospitals and ensuring access to critical services like health care, water and wastewater, and broadband internet;

– fostering innovations that create new jobs and businesses in the energy, health care, agricultural economies; and

– strengthening a middle-class economy that honors our commitments to seniors and veterans while attracting the next generation of farmers and ranchers, young families, workers, and small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Roughly 60 million people reside in rural America, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population. Rural America supply much of the food and energy and workforce that sustains our national economy. And yet there are barriers to economic opportunity for too many rural Americans.

 

AGENDA

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

902 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC

 

8:30 – 9:00 am

Registration and Breakfast Reception

9:00 – 9:30 am

Opening Remarks by Senate Democratic Leadership

9:30 – 10:00 am

Remarks from Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia

10:00 – 11:00 am

Panel I: Health Care in Rural America

Moderator: Mary Wakefield, Former Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Participants:

Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvania

Senator Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire

Senator Bill Nelson, Florida

11:00 – 12:00 pm

Panel II: Economic Opportunities in Rural America

Moderator: Lisa Mensah, President and Chief Executive Officer,Opportunity Finance Network

Participants:

Senator Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin

Senator Chris Coons, Delaware

Senator Jeff Merkley, Oregon

Senator Jon Tester, Montana

12:00 – 12:30 pm

Q&A with Steve Case, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,Revolution LLC

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INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY: MSU Sending Tribal College Students on New PATHS to Food Sovereignty

Students will learn how to further food sovereignty this summer during PATHS program

 

 
 

Danielle Antelope, an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, is one of several tribal college students who will have a unique opportunity to spend six weeks at Montana State University this summer, earn some money, engage in hands-on lab work and learn how to advance food sovereignty—and health—in Indian country.

The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded Montana State University $280,000 over three years to support the PATHS, or “Pathways to Agriculture and Native foods, Tribal Health and Sovereignty,” program. Principal Investigator Holly Hunts, an associate professor in Montana State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Development, said: “This is an interdisciplinary effort to look at problems and solve them. We are exponentially smarter when we work together.”

Eric Birdinground, a senator in the legislative branch of the Crow Tribal government and chair of the tribe’s Health and Human Services Department, said an important feature of the PATHS program is that students will bring back what they learn to their community. Richard Little Bear, president of Chief Dull Knife College, sees another benefit as well. “Our students have a hard time leaving the college, and the reservation, so PATHS and similar programs provide a bridge to the four-year mainstream institutions.”

And of course the primarily focus of the program—agriculture and food sovereignty—are crucial. “The program will educate them about foods in general and about our own Native foods. That part is helpful because so many of us have gotten dependent on the Walmart system of distribution of our food,” Little Bear said.

Food Sovereignty, Tribal Colleges, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Montana State University, Native American Students, PATHS Program, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, Indigenous Food Systems, Agriculture, Donald Trump Budget, Trump Budget

This graphic explains what the PATHS program is. Montana State University/Facebook

Janie Simms Hipp, Chickasaw Nation, is founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law. She said the MSU program complements the work being done at her university, and she will be helping to implement the PATHS program. “There is a desperate need to have a strong group of students who are ready to step into extremely important tribal leadership roles as soon as possible,” she said, and this program will help train them.

Students will spend six weeks this summer at MSU where they will work in different labs, go on field trips to tribal agricultural projects, and engage in other creative learning experiences. When they return to their tribal colleges and universities, the program will stay connected with them for a full year until they come back to MSU for another six weeks next summer, at which point they should be ready to pursue a research interest of their own.

The research opportunity is what has Antelope’s attention. “I’m really excited about the research because when I was a junior in high school I did the MAP program at Bozeman. You go there for eight weeks and do research and take classes. That was a great time for me. So this time, six weeks, being on campus, being an adult, having my family with me. I’m really excited to get that campus life, the city—maybe I won’t be so scared when it comes time for me to leave to continue my higher education.” Antelope, 21, is working on her associate’s degree at Blackfeet Community College.

“Our goal is that they will want to finish a four-year degree in agriculture or food or nutrition or some health field. We’d be happy if they came to MSU,” Hunts said. The university would welcome more Native American students, especially in areas like cell biology and neuroscience and biochemistry, she said.

The PATHS program is open to students at any tribal college. The funding covers two cohorts of four to five students each, with each cohort attending the program for a total of 14 months beginning in the summer of 2017 and the summer of 2018. The program includes a $1,500 stipend for the summer, $1,500 during the academic year and another $1,500 the following summer. Additional funds cover housing, food during the summer sessions, in-state and out-of-state travel, lab costs and supplies, a total of over $14,000 per student over 14 months each will participate. Native American mentors who have successful track records at MSU in either food sovereignty, nutrition, agriculture or health will work with students throughout the program.

“In the second summer, we’ll go to Washington, D.C. so students can meet with the federal movers and shakers in agriculture,” Hunts said. “We want to make sure they are connected to policy makers and know how to get policy changed.”

Hipp said the Washington trip and introducing students to how the federal government makes policy is an essential part of getting them ready to serve their communities. “This component is especially important right now when USDA is getting reorganized and the president’s budget calls for literally doing away with some of the key programs that tribal governments have relied upon to build up the food sovereignty movement. We can’t stand by and say we’ll deal with it later,” she said.

Another immediate benefit of the program, Hunts said, is that “students will also be really employable by the end of the 14 months, with lab, data entry and library skills.”

Core members of the PATHS team at MSU are Hunts; David Sands, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture; Ed Dratz, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Letters and Science; Florence Dunkel, an associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology; and Claire Sands Baker, a longtime nonprofit consultant.

For more information, contact PATHSMSU@gmail.com or text 406-599-9457. Information is also available on Facebook.

 

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Food Insecurity, Food Deserts, Food Sovereignty, and the Impacts of the Farm Bill on Indigenous Peoples in the face of Global Warming

Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw Nation), lawyer, scholar, author, and founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law (http://indigenousfoodandag.com/), joined American Indian Airwaves to discuss food insecurity, food deserts, food sovereignty, cultural sustainability, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK),  the impact of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) historical operations excluding Indigenous farmers, and the potential consequences of the Farm Bill of 2018 on Indigenous peoples and their respective First Nations. There are more than fifty million acres of active agriculture lands within Indigenous Nations. Indigenous farmer operators, indeed, comprise of 39.2 percent out of all non-white farm operators, and the Farm Bill is revisited and revised every five years by the United States Congress. 

Click the audio player below to hear the interview.

 

American Indian Airwaves regularly broadcast every Thursday from 7pm to 8pm (PCT) on KPFK FM 90.7 in Los Angles, FM 98.7 in Santa Barbara, FM 99.5 China Lake, FM 93.7 North San Diego, WCRS FM 98.3/102.1 in Columbus, OH, and on the Internet @ www.kpfk.org.

Missed shows for the past 60 days can be accessed at: http://archive.kpfk.org/

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DOI Secretary Zinke to attend NCAI Mid Year Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. | U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is confirmed to attend the National Congress of American Indians 2017 Mid Year Conference & Marketplace at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., held from Monday, June 12 to Thursday, June 15, 2017.

“We are looking forward to hosting Secretary Zinke during NCAI Mid Year,” said NCAI President Brian Cladoosby. “This year’s theme ‘Sovereign Infrastructure: Building our Communities through our Values’ is an important conversation we will continue to build upon with the Department of the Interior and the Administration in the years to come.”

“It is a great honor to accept the invitation to speak at NCAI’s Mid Year Conference,” said Zinke. “This will give tribal leaders and I an opportunity to discuss ways to empower the front lines of tribal communities.  I am a supporter of building a stronger government-to-government relationship that will reaffirm tribal sovereignty, self-determination and self-governance in Indian Country.”

As the fifty-second U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Zinke leads more than 70,000 employees who supervise 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and other public lands. The Department of the Interior (DOI) oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 567 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.

Prior to his position as DOI Secretary, Zinke represented the state of Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2014 to 2016, and in the Montana State Senate from 2009 to 2011. Secretary Zinke is a fifth-generation Montanan and former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander, in which he spent 23 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer.

Pre-register today for press credentialing using our form here:http://bit.ly/2raRr8a.

On-site press credentialing takes place on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 and Wednesday, June 14, 2017 from 7:30 AM EST – 5:00 PM EST.  Credentialed press will have access to all plenary sessions, as well as those sessions noted for press access on the agenda.

Please note all press are required to wear press badges at all times and are asked to please announce yourself to the moderator of each session you plan on attending.

For additional information, please view NCAI’s 2017 Mid Year Draft Agenda here or contact NCAI Communications Associate Erin Weldon with any questions at ncaipress@ncai.org.

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About The National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.

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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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