Native Students to Meet at U of A for Food and Agriculture Youth Summit
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Nearly 150 Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students representing 76 tribes nationwide will be at the University of Arkansas School of Law July 16-25 for the fourth annual Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit.
The summit engages students in a wide variety of classroom lectures, hands-on workshops and field activities to educate, develop and empower the next generation of food and agricultural leaders in Indian Country.
The 10-day event is sponsored and organized by the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Students will hear from guest speakers who present topics including the history of American Indian Agriculture, business planning, ethnobotany and seed preservation, soil conservation, legal issues in Indian Country and the importance of traditional foods.
Speakers include Ross Racine, executive director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council; Ben Meyer, from the national Future Farmers of America; David Winfrey, senior associate general counsel, Walmart; Gary Matteson, vice president, Farm Credit Council; Cris Stainbrook, from the Indian Land Tenure Foundation; Mark Tilsen, president, Tanka Bar; and Anthony Mallott, president and CEO, Sealaska.
As part of the summit students will visit the unique “This Is Hunger” exhibit near Fayetteville’s historic downtown square. The exhibit, sponsored by MAZON: A Jewish Response To Hunger, will be installed as part of a collaboration with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and the exhibit will help students understand how the food insecurity issues they confront in Native communities fit into the greater struggle for national and international food security.
Other highlights of the summit include:
- A tour of the animal and food sciences labs, horticulture programs and freight farm on the U of A campus from 9-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 19.
- A tour of Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma’s greenhouses, apiary, cattle and bison production and facility and dog training operation in Quapaw, Oklahoma, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, July 21.
- Participation in the “This Is Hunger” traveling exhibit in downtown Fayetteville and tour of the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, July 22
- Interactive agricultural demonstrations at Dagg’s Farm with Intertribal Agriculture Council specialist Steven Bond in Stratford, Oklahoma followed by training from the Chickasaw Nation’s nutrition experts, from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sunday, July 23.
University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas
Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
Intertribal Agriculture Council
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
Southern Region Extension Risk Management Education Program
Cost to Attend
All food, lodging, instructional materials and field trip costs are provided. Depending on the number of students, some travel scholarships will also be provided.
If you have questions, contact Emerald Hames on the IFAI staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 479-575-5128.
Native students dive into food and ag business at 2016 leadership summit
Nearly 100 Native American, Alaska native and Native Hawaiian students representing 51 tribes converged on the University of Arkansas School of Law for a unique 10-day leadership summit to learn how food and agriculture policy impacts their tribal communities. The summit, sponsored and organized by the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, is an annual event in its third year.
During the summit, students engaged with a wide variety of guest speakers who presented topics including the history of American Indian Agriculture, business planning, ethnobotany and seed preservation, legal issues in Indian Country, and the importance of traditional foods.
Speakers included IFAI Director Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw), Intertribal Agriculture Council Executive Director Ross Racine (Blackfeet), Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture Professor H.L. Goodwin, School of Law Dean Stacy Leeds (Cherokee), Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee) from EchoHawk Consulting, Justin Wilson (Choctaw) from the US Dept. of the Interior, Mark Tilsen (Lakota Sioux) from Native American Natural Foods, and Toni Stanger-McLaughlin (Colville) a consulting attorney with the IFAI.
The students were also treated to a presentation by Native American celebrity chef Sean Sherman (Lakota Sioux), also known as The Sioux Chef, who has become a leading advocate of preserving traditional foods and restoration of an indigenous diet. The final speaker of the summit was Arthur “Butch” Blazer (Mescalero Apache), former USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, who spoke about the importance of tribal leadership.
Students also left the classroom to visit several agriculture operations and food businesses including the Cattle Company and Downstream Casino greenhouses of the Quapaw Nation, a Walmart Distribution Center, the U of A animal and food science labs, and the Fayetteville Farmers Market. The summit field trips were capped with a full day excursion to Daggs Farm in Stratford, Okla., where students helped install irrigation systems and learned about small small-scale chicken operations, cultivating ancestral plants, and the importance of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles.