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To provide a unified effort to promote change in Indian Agriculture for the benefit of Indian People.

The Intertribal Agriculture Council conducts a wide range of programs designed to further the goal of improving Indian Agriculture. The IAC promotes the Indian use of Indian resources and contracts with federal agencies to maximize resources for tribal members.

Native American leaders hail 2018 Farm Bill as a “historic milestone” for Indian Country

December 21, 2018

Tribal governments and Native producers win new access to and parity in USDA programs; unprecedented number of Farm Bill provisions address Indian Country nutrition, conservation, rural development, credit, and forestry

The leaders of the Native Farm Bill Coalition today applauded the enactment of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, citing its 63 provisions relating to Native American communities and producers.

“The number and significance of Native American-related provisions in the new Farm Bill is unprecedented,” said Ross Racine, executive director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council and co-chair of the Native Farm Bill Coalition. “Congress has listened to Indian Country as never before and delivered on many of our requests.”

Passed by overwhelmingly bipartisan margins in the Senate and House last week and expected to be signed into law by President Donald J. Trump tomorrow, the 2018 Farm Bill marks a new high watermark of federal focus on and investment in Native agricultural production, rural infrastructure, economic development, conservation, and forestry. It also safeguards vitally important nutrition assistance programs on which many Native Americans depend.

“This Farm Bill acknowledges the fundamental sovereignty and competence of tribal governments far more than previous Farm Bills,” said Keith B. Anderson, vice-chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and co-chair of the Native Farm Bill Coalition. “It gives tribes greater control over our food systems and accords our tribal producers new parity in access to USDA programs.”

Racine and Anderson credited the efforts of the Coalition’s 170 member tribes, Native organizations, and allies with elevating awareness in Congress about inequities in federal policy and the pressing needs of Native communities. They repeated the Coalition’s thanks to congressional leaders, members of the agriculture committees, and the Trump Administration for their responsiveness to the Coalition’s support for these Indian Country provisions.

The Coalition, launched in October 2017, will remain active in 2019 to work with Secretary Sonny Perdue and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the implementation of the new tribal authorities and access under the Farm Bill. It will also continue to educate policymakers on Native nutritional and agricultural issues in the next Congress, assisting in oversight activities and urging Congress to further expand its recognition of tribal self-determination authority in USDA programs.

A full list of Native provisions in the Farm Bill may be viewed here. Highlights include the following:

Conservation: Parity and Support for Tribal Producers

 Nutrition: Supporting Tribal Self-Governance and Management of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) 

Forestry: Self-Governance and Parity for Healthy Forestry Management

Rural Development: Building Infrastructure and Economic Development Opportunities

Research: Inclusion and Parity for Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)

Trade: Increased Opportunities and Access to Overseas Markets

Horticulture/Specialty Crops: Support for Traditional and Local Foods

Commodity Title: Support for Tribal Producers

Credit: Improving Access to Credit for Tribal Producers

Miscellaneous Title: Upholding the Trust Responsibility

Additional Tribal-Specific Provisions Supporting Parity and Inclusion for Tribes and Tribal Producers

 

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This information forwarded to you by the Intertribal Agriculture Council
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) was founded in 1987 to pursue and promote the conservation, development and use of our agricultural resources for the betterment of our people. Land-based agricultural resources are vital to the economic and social welfare of many Native American and Alaskan Tribes. The IAC has over the last decade become recognized as the most respected voice within the Indian community and government circles on agricultural policies and programs in Indian country.

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