Fayetteville, Arkansas- The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Secretary Tom Vilsack in his nomination to serve in the Biden-Harris administration as our next Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture.
NAAF is a private charitable trust and is the largest philanthropic entity in the United States whose purpose is to support the success of Native farmers and ranchers. NAAF was created as part of the settlement of the historic Keepseagle v. Vilsack litigation and our work began in earnest in 2018. His push to reach settlement in the Keepseagle case ended in the creation of NAAF.
We have been able to deploy resources to support Native agriculture – over $28M in the first year alone – to ensure that Native agriculture has a place at the US agriculture table, so that our producers can thrive and succeed, and so that our next generation are supported in their passions to feed our communities. Although our organization was born of a dark time, we are filled with the hope that comes from having resources to support our communities.
We know that Secretary Vilsack will serve all our nation’s farmers and ranchers, our agriculture businesses, our next generation of producers and our people who are struggling to find food in the middle of a pandemic. We are anxiously looking forward to making sure that the days ahead are brighter for those served by USDA. We are confident that his leadership can create new opportunities for everyone.
We know that Secretary Vilsack will lead the Department with passion, heart and a dedication to continue working to right past wrongs as well as create new opportunities for the nation’s agriculturalists, those who are hungry among us, and the nation’s rural people and communities.
Janie Simms Hipp, CEO (Chickasaw)
The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers. The charitable trust was created by the settlement of the landmark Keepseagle v. Vilsack classaction lawsuit. NAAF is the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American farming and ranching community.