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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.

USDA News & Events

January 8, 2018

From the USDA Office of Tribal Relations (01/08/18)

The Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) serves as a single point of contact for Tribal issues and works to ensure that relevant programs and policies are efficient, easy to understand, accessible, and developed in consultation with the American Indians and Alaska Native constituents they impact. If you have a suggestion on the format of these newsletters or would like to be added/removed to this listserv, please contact Josiah Griffin, Lead Outreach Coordinator, Office of Tribal Relations,


NEWS RELEASE – USDA Forest Service seeks public comment on its work to improve an often costly, lengthy process to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when making land management decisions.

The public has until Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 to comment on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register. Instructions about how to comment are included in the online notice. The notice can be accessed on the Federal Register through this link:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1994 Tribal Scholars Program is an employment program that offers a combination of work experience and academic study leading to career positions within USDA. The program is designed to integrate classroom study with paid work experience.

Fact Sheet │ Application (Word Document)

Benefits: The USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program will provide full tuition, paid internship, employee benefits, fees, books, and room and board each year for up to 4 years to selected students pursuing a degree at a 1994 tribal land-grant institution that culminates in bachelor’s degree at a 1994 Tribal Land-Grant Institution or other University.


Grants, Loans, and Other Programs

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)  requests applications for the Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans(AgVets) program for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. The overarching goal of AgVets is to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm/ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. Applications should be submitted to

The Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income. Applicants may receive priority if they are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain. Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program supports the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical assistance programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States (U.S.) and its territories with entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. This Request for Application is being released prior to the passage of an appropriations act for 2018. Enactment of additional continuing resolutions or an appropriations act may affect the availability or level of funding for this program. Applications should be submitted to

NEWS RELEASE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that starting Nov. 1, 2017, farmers and ranchers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net program may enroll for the 2018 crop year. The enrollment period will end on Aug. 1, 2018.

The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 enrollment period will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2018 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in previous years must still enroll during the 2018 enrollment period.


NEWS RELEASE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is making available for public comment a petition from Verdeca LLC seeking deregulation of soybean genetically engineered (GE) for increased yield. The petition will be available for public review and comment for 60 days starting November 15, 2017. The petition can be accessed now on the News and Information page of the BRS website.

On July 29, 2016, the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 was amended to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to establish and maintain the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard for disclosing human foods that are bioengineered or contain or may contain bioengineered food ingredients.  AMS is responsible for implementing this statutory directive and will initiate a rulemaking to do so.  In addition to AMS’s July 2017 request for public input, which received over 112,000 comments, AMS continues to welcome comments from Indian Tribal Organizations and Native communities. Please email us at and subscribe to get email updates on the progress of the rulemaking.

Request for Nominations

PRESS RELEASE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking fluid milk processors and other interested parties to nominate candidates to serve on the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will appoint eight individuals to succeed members whose terms expire on June 30, 2018, and two members to fill vacant positions with terms expiring on June 30, 2019.

The geographic regions with vacancies are: Region 3 (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and District of Columbia); Region 6 (Ohio and West Virginia); Region 8 (Illinois and Indiana); Region 9 (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee); Region 12 (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah); and Region 15 (Southern California).

Newly appointed members will serve three-year terms from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2021.  USDA will also accept nominations to fill a vacant position in Region 4 (Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina), and a vacant at-large position, each to serve a one-year term expiring on June 30, 2019.


Grants, Loans, & Other Programs

All Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase II projects must have previously completed a successful USDA Phase I project before applying for a Phase II grant. Success rates for applicants have been 50-60% for Phase II. Projects dealing with agriculturally-related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies are encouraged across all 2018 SBIR topic areas. USDA SBIR’s flexible research areas ensure innovative projects consistent with USDA’s vision of a healthy and productive nation in harmony with the land, air, and water. Applications should be submitted to

Additional Announcements

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals is pleased to announce a new set of courses to assist tribes with developing solid waste codes. These courses are designed to be offered as a series and participants that attend the first course are expected to attend the second course as well. These free courses also include five free hours of legal and technical staff support from attorneys and ITEP staff. The first course, “Development and Implementation of Tribal Solid Waste Codes and Ordinances,” will take place in Phoenix, Arizona, March 13-15, 2018 and the follow up course, “Tribal Solid Waste Codes and Ordinance Workshop,” will take place July 17-19, 2018 (location TBD).


Grants, Loans, & Other Programs

The U.S. Forest Service requests proposals to substantially expand and accelerate wood energy and wood products markets throughout the United States to support forest management needs on National Forest System and other forest lands. Funding will be awarded to two separate categories: (1) Expansion of Wood Energy Markets and (2) Expansion of Wood Products Markets. Applications should be submitted to

News Release: US Forest Service to Award $7Million in Grant Applications for Projects that Expand Wood Products and Wood Energy Markets

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that drive public and private sector innovation in resource conservation. Projects awarded under CIG help develop the tools, technologies, and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands and develop market-based solutions to resource challenges. Producers, including non-Federal governmental (e.g. tribes), nongovernmental organizations, or individuals, must be EQIP eligible to receive CIG funding. Applications should be submitted to

Success in Practice: In 2017, the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians in Washington received CIG funds to implement a new and emerging animal waste treatment system for dairy farms.  The advanced distillation and nutrient separation processor funded would convert dairy wastewater into clean, distilled reclaim water, with liquid ammonia and nutrient-rich solid material byproducts that can be used for agricultural purposes.


EXCERPT (Fred Clark, Director of the Forest Service Office of Tribal Relations) – Welcome to the winter 2018 USDA Forest Service Tribal Relations Newsletter. We have a wonderful lineup of articles from across the country for you to enjoy – and be inspired by. I am certainly inspired by the feature articles in this edition. I am also inspired by the diversity of the authors. None of them are Forest Service tribal relations personnel. Rather, these authors offer stories and perspectives as “regular” Forest Service staff, members of the private sector, volunteers, and retirees.

Additional Announcements

The Practicum is open to all Native American high school students from Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, southern California, and Utah who have an interest in pursuing a career in fishery and wildlife management, forestry, range management, watershed management, hydrology, or other natural resources related field. The Practicum provides a “hands-on” learning experience in natural resource management and combines classroom with field sessions that enables students to learn concepts and techniques used to manage natural resources. The Practicum is provided by the Southwest Region, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society at no cost to the participating students.

Where: Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge, Waltrous, NM

Open To: Incoming 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade Students

Application: Online Form


Research and Development Grants

The methyl bromide transition program (MBT) addresses the immediate needs and the costs of transition that have resulted from the scheduled phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has been a pest and disease control tactic critical to pest management systems for decades for soilborne and postharvest pests. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Applications should be submitted to

NEWS RELEASE – The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) supports research, education, and extension programs that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Priority areas include biological, physical, and social science research, including economics. Funded projects will aid farmers and ranchers with whole-farm planning by delivering practical, research-based information to improve their ability to develop an Organic System Plan required for certification. Applications should be submitted to

Additional Announcements

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University is seeking intern host sites for the Student Summer Internship (SSI) Program. Tribal environmental offices, EPA offices, and other tribal environmental organizations that are selected as host sites, will host a college student for eight weeks, during the months of June, July and August. As an intern host site you gain a dedicated college student who will complete a new or on-going project directly related to air quality, which will benefit the student, your agency, and the environment.

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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.

For more information, please visit or contact:

Donita A. Fischer
Public Relations Director

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