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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 from the USDA Office of Tribal Relations (02/28/18)

February 28, 2018

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,


TELECONFERENCE: March 14, 2018 – USDA Food and Nutrition Service Quarterly Tribal Consultation Meeting

Please join the USDA Food and Nutrition Service for our upcoming Tribal Consultation on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM ET. Please visit or review the attached notice for the full agenda and participation instructions.


Consulting Official: Tim English, Regional Administrator


Consultation items include

o   Reducing Verification Requirements for For-Profit Centers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program;

o   Child Nutrition Program Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements;

o   Flexibilities to Hiring Standards for New School Nutrition Program Directors in Small Local Educational Agencies; and

o   Time Limits for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents in SNAP.


Application Deadline: March 15, 2018 – Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit [June 7-14 in Fayetteville, AR] (Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative)

The 2018 Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit is open to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian youth, ages 15-18 (including recently graduated high school seniors). Some travel assistance may become available; participants will receive information about this after they are accepted into the program. The priority deadline for applying to the 2018 Summit is March 1, 2018.

This year’s program will build on previous activities, but will be more intensive. The 2018 Summit will be a skills-development focused event that will give attendees an opportunity to do a deep dive in a particular area of food and agricultural production or policy. These four subject matter areas are:

1)    Agricultural Business and Finance;

2)    Conservation Practices and Planning for Agricultural Production;

3)    Agricultural & Food Law and Policy; and

4)    Nutrition and Health.


Grants, Loans, and Other Programs

Application Deadline: March 30, 2018 (5:00PM ET) – McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program

The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (McGovern-Dole) feeds school-children, reduces hunger, enhances food security, and improves literacy (especially for girls) in low-income, food-deficit countries around the world. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support school feeding, literacy, maternal and child health and nutrition projects worldwide pursuant to an agreement with USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service. Applications should be submitted by

Application Deadline: April 16, 2018 – Food Distribution Program Nutrition Education

FNS awards funding for nutrition education projects through Food Distribution Program Nutrition Education (FDPNE) grants each fiscal year. Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and State agencies (SAs) that are current FDPIR allowance holders (have a direct agreement with FNS to administer FDPIR) are eligible to apply for funds to conduct projects that provide nutrition information and services to FDPIR participants. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 SNAP Education Plan Guidance is the basis for FDPNE nutrition, gardening, and physical activities. FNS selects components of this guidance for development of FDPNE project requirements. A full description of program considerations is available in the attached Request For Applications. Applications should be submitted to

Application Deadline: April 20, 2018 – Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Grants Program

The Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program provides funds to

1)    Improve the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers; and

2)    Establish and maintain a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management.

Applications should be submitted to

Application Deadline: April 27, 2018 – Agriculture Risk Management Education Partnerships (ARME) Competitive Grants Program

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture Risk Management Education Partnerships Competitive Grants Program (ARME) provides resources for four regional risk management education centers and a Risk Management Education Electronic Support Center for the purpose of developing and delivering agricultural risk management education materials.

The purpose of the four (4) Regional ARME Centers is to conduct regional and multi-regional based competitive grants programs for the purpose of funding agricultural risk management organizations and individuals who are risk management experts. The purpose of the Risk Management Education Electronic Support Center is to provide supporting services to the four regional centers. Applications should be submitted to

Enrollment Deadline: August 1, 2018 – Agriculture Risk Coverage / Price Loss Coverage

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.


Public Comment Deadline: April 9, 2018 – USDA Seeks Ideas to Help SNAP Participants Become Independent

NEWS RELEASE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it is looking for innovative ideas to promote work and self-sufficiency among able-bodied adults participating in the department’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The public is invited to provide input through a notice in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted on the web through the Federal Register.

Federal law limits the amount of time an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) can receive SNAP benefits to three months in a 36-month period, unless the individual is working and/or participating in a work program half-time or more, or participating in workfare. The law exempts individuals from the time limit for several reasons, including age, unfitness for work, or having a dependent child. The law also provides state agencies with flexibility to request a waiver of this time limit if unemployment is high or the area does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment.



Grants, Loans, & Other Programs

Application Deadline: March 8, 2018 – Small Business Innovation Research Program (Phase II)

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


USDA Launches Webpage Highlighting Resources to Help Rural Communities Address the Opioid Crisis

NEWS RELEASE – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett unveiled a new webpage featuring resources to help rural communities respond to the opioid crisis.



Grants, Loans, & Other Programs

National Application Deadline: Varies By State – Conservation Innovation Grant (Additional NRCS State Deadlines Vary)

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

Funding Pool Deadline Award Ceiling Application Link
Arizona 5/4 $75,000 – Arizona
California 4/17 $75,000 – California
Kansas 4/13 $50,000 – Kansas
Louisiana 4/8 $75,000 – Louisiana
Maine 4/16 $75,000 – Maine
Michigan 4/13 $75,000 – Michigan
Oregon 4/6 $75,000 – Oregon
Pennsylvania 4/27 $75,000 – Pennsylvania
Virginia 4/6 $75,000 – Virginia


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.


Application Deadline: April 13, 2018 – Conservation Collaboration Grants or Agreements

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing potential availability of grants and agreements for the purpose of leveraging NRCS resources, addressing local natural resource issues, encouraging collaboration and developing state- and community-level conservation leadership. Proposals will be accepted for projects located in the following states: Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The anticipated amount available for this program is shown below. Interested applicants should review the attached “Conservation Collaboration Grants or Agreements” notice for more information.

State Estimated Funds Available By State Minimum Maximum Anticipated # of Grants / Agreements Application Submission Link


MN $4,000,000 $25,000 $1,000,000 18 Minnesota
ND $4,000,000 $10,000 $1,500,000 15 North Dakota and

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NE $1,000,000 $20,000 $1,000,000 10 Nebraska
SD $4,800,000 $20,000 $1,000,000 20 South Dakota
WI $2,500,000 $100,000 $2,500,000 10 Wisconsin


Proposals are requested from Federally-recognized tribal governments, State and local units of government, non-governmental organizations, and institutions of higher learning for competitive consideration of grant or agreement awards for projects between 1 and 3 years in duration.

Application Deadline: April 30, 2018 – 2019 National Urban and Community Forest Grant Program (Category D: Prepare for Pests, Threats, Natural Disasters, and Associated Changes and Risks)

The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council seeks innovative (new, cutting-edge or builds upon existing studies) grant proposals for program development, study, and collaboration that will address strategies in the National Ten Year Urban Forestry Action Plan (2016-2026). This Request for Proposals is to address preparing for pests, threats, natural disasters and associated changes and risks.

Proposals may include, but are not limited to, networks of diverse communities and scientists that will integrate threats such as flooding, extreme heat, and, drought. Organizations, local governments, tribal agencies, and partnerships are encouraged to submit proposals that will demonstrate the reach, resources, and expertise needed to address the priority issues noted in ways that will lead to meaningful, replicable results across the country. Applications may be submitted to



USDA Secretary Announces Infrastructure Improvements for Forest System Trails

NEWS RELEASE – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the selection of 15 priority areas to help address the more than $300 million trail maintenance backlog on national forests and grasslands.

Requests for Nominations

Nomination Deadline: March 21, 2018 – National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Committee

The Forest Service is seeking nominations to fill positions on the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council). The Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program and related natural resources. The purpose of the Council is to:

1)    develop a national urban and community forestry action plan;

2)    evaluate the implementation of the plan; and

3)    develop criteria and annually make recommendations on the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-share Grant Program.

Applicants are encouraged to check all positions they are eligible to serve. Individuals currently serving on other U.S. Department of Agriculture advisory councils or commissions are ineligible to serve on this Council.


Additional Announcements

Application Deadline: May 25, 2018 – Native American Natural Resources Youth Practicum, June 18-22 in Waltrous, NM (Native American Fish & Wildlife Society – Southwest Region)

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

Preproposal Deadline: March 7, 2018 – Coastal Resilience Grants (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) intends to award up to $15 million to support Coastal Resilience Grants that benefit coastal ecosystems and communities. Coastal Resilience Grants support efforts to prepare coastal communities and ecosystems to withstand the impacts of extreme weather and climate-related hazards, which in turn makes our nation safer and our economy more secure. Applications should be submitted to

Application Deadline: March 18, 2018 – Youth Preparedness Council (FEMA)

FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC supports FEMA’s commitment to involve America’s youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions.

The YPC members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national supporters of youth preparedness. Students in 8th through 11th grade are eligible to apply. Youth interested in applying to the Council must submit a completed application form, provide two letters of recommendation, and academic records.



Research and Development Grants

Application Deadline: March 1, 2018 – Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

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

Application Deadline: March 16, 2018 (5:00PM ET) – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment

NEWS RELEASE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of funding to help eligible veterinarians offset a significant portion of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medicine degrees in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations. Funding is made through NIFA’s Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act.

The program contains three general categories of participation: mitigation of private practice shortage situations, mitigation of public veterinary practice and specialty veterinary discipline shortage situations, and service in animal health emergencies. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on March 16, 2018.

Application Deadline: March 28, 2018 – Women and Minorities in STEM Fields

The Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program supports research and extension projects that have robust collaborations to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields that are relevant to USDA priorities identified by the Secretary:

o   Promotion of a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for all Americans and for people around the world;

o   Sustainable agricultural policies that foster economic viability for small and mid-sized farms and rural businesses, protect natural resources, and promote value-added agriculture;

o   National leadership in climate change mitigation and adaptation;

o   Building a modern workplace with a modern workforce; and

o   Support for 21st century rural communities.

Applications should be submitted to

Application Deadline: April 4, 2018 – Secondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grant Program

The Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants (SPECA) program seeks to:

(a)  promote and strengthen secondary education and two-year postsecondary education in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human (FANH) sciences in order to help ensure the existence of a workforce in the United States that’s qualified to serve the FANH sciences system; and

(b)  promote complementary and synergistic linkages among secondary, two-year postsecondary, and higher education programs in the FANH sciences in order to advance excellence in education and encourage more young Americans to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the FANH sciences.

Applications should be submitted to

Application Deadline: April 9, 2018 – Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Sustainable Community Projects

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA announces the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) funding program to improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for at-risk children, youth, and families supported by the Cooperative Extension System. The CYFAR program mission is to marshal resources of the Land-Grant and Cooperative Extension Systems to develop and deliver educational programs that equip limited resource families and youth who are at-risk for not meeting basic human needs with the skills they need to lead positive, productive, contributing lives. While Tribal Colleges and Universities are not directly eligible, priority points are allocated for projects where TCUs are a sub-awardee.  Applications should be submitted to

Application Deadline: April 18, 2018 – Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program

The Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive (SACC) Grants Program will support the development of canola as a viable supplemental and alternative crop in the United States. The goal of the SACC program is to significantly increase crop production and/or acreage by developing and testing of superior germplasm, improving methods of planting, cultivation, and harvesting, and transferring new knowledge to producers (via Extension) as soon as practicable. Extension, education, and communication activities related to the research areas above must be addressed in the proposal. Applications should be submitted to


Application Deadline: April 20, 2018 – National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Biomass Genomics Research

NEWS RELEASE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research, announce joint support for research in plant feedstock genomics for bioenergy. NIFA’s support is funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which aims to address challenges in food and agricultural sciences through research, extension, and education.

The Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy program aims to improve use of biomass and plant feed stocks for the production of fuels such as ethanol or renewable chemical feedstocks. Research to overcome biological barriers, like resistance and tolerance to disease and weather, to the low-cost, high-quality, scalable, and sustainable production of dedicated bioenergy biomass feedstocks using the tools of genetics and genomics is encouraged.

Application Deadline: April 23, 2018 – Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program

The Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program assists 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (Tribal Colleges) in building institutional research capacity through applied projects that address student educational needs and meet community, reservation or regional challenges. Awards are to be made on the basis of a competitive review process. Collaboration with 1862 or 1890 Land Grant Institutions, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA), or at least one forestry school funded under the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program is a requirement. Eligible institutions may propose projects in any discipline of the food, agricultural or natural resource sciences. Applications should be submitted to

Application Deadline: May 31, 2018 – Agriculture in the Classroom

NIFA’s Agriculture in the Classroom Program (AITC) serves nearly 5 million students and 60,000 teachers annually through workshops, conferences, field trips, farm tours, and other educational activities. AITC programs include working with state AITC activities engaged in a variety of issues relating to agricultural literacy. Other programs emphasized by the NIFA AITC office include:

o   Science literacy

o   Agricultural careers

o   Nutrition

o   Pre-service and professional develop opportunities for teachers.

Applications should be submitted to

Additional Announcements

Application Deadline: March 1, 2018 – Native American Student Internship Program (Wisconsin Tribal Advisory Council)

The Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (WTCAC) is advertising summer internship positions, headquartered in various USDA Agency offices and Tribes in Wisconsin and surrounding States, for Native American students pursuing degrees in Natural Resources, Biological Sciences, Arboricultural, Horticultural, Agroforestry, Agriculture, Engineering, or Agricultural Business.  Risk Management will also accept applicants pursuing Business Administration, Finance, Economics, or Management degrees. Training and work experiences will occur at USDA project sites and/or at nearby Tribal Nations project sites.  Interns will be paid $12.50 an hour. Additional information and application instructions are available in the attached “WTCAC Internship 2018” notice.


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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