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According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, there were 71,947 American Indian or Alaska Native farm operators in the United States in 2012, accounting for over $3.2 billion in market value of agricultural products sold.  Tribal Nations were identified as one group that is an underserved segment of agriculture, and USDA Market News is answering the call to provide them with the commodity data they need.    

USDA Market News – part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – assists the agricultural supply chain in adapting their production and marketing strategies to meet changing consumer demands, marketing practices, and technologies.  USDA Market News reports give farmers, producers, and other agricultural businesses the information they need to evaluate market conditions, identify trends, make purchasing decisions, monitor price patterns, evaluate transportation equipment needs, and accurately assess movement. 

We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of industry and small producers.  Food sovereignty is a big focus of many Tribal Nations.  To help meet the needs of Tribal Nations and provide market transparency and pricing information, we developed the National Tribal Grown, Produced or Harvested report. 

This report provides transparent market data for traditional Tribal commodities.  Additionally, the report fills a significant traditional foods data gap.  The National Tribal Grown, Produced or Harvested report is just in its infancy and will evolve as more commodities are added.  Currently, there are two products included – wild rice from Minnesota and Wisconsin and maple syrup – on this quarterly report, but we hope to add additional traditional foods such as bison and honey in the future. 

We are continually working to expand both the contact base and list of commodities reported.  If you would like to contribute or assist in the endeavor, please reach out to us using the contact information on the current National Tribal Grown, Produced or Harvested report.

In addition to Market News data, AMS and the Food and Nutrition Service, work through USDA’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) to procure and distribute nutritious, wholesome food to about 85,000 program recipients living on or near reservations across the United States.  Tribes work with us to help low-income families who may not have easy access to nutritious food for a number of reasons, including the fact that they live in remote areas with few grocery stores. 

USDA offers a variety of programs and services that are available to Tribal Governments, Tribal communities and organizations, and individual Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. The Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) is dedicated to ensuring that Tribes have relevant information on the programs and services available at USDA. For additional information, visit the Office of Tribal Relations website.