Ben Dupris

The Native American Agriculture Fund Supports Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior

(Monday evening in Washington, D.C., IllumiNative put up a projection of Rep. Deb Haaland on the C Street entrance of the Department of the Interior. (Photo courtesy IllumiNative)
Fayetteville, Arkansas- The Native American Agriculture Fund lends our full support for the confirmation of Congresswoman Deb Haaland of Laguna Pueblo on her confirmation to be Secretary of the Interior. If confirmed, Haaland will be the first ever Native American woman to serve as a cabinet secretary.
Haaland has deep roots in Native agriculture and understands the intricacies of producing food on Tribal lands. As a small business owner, she knows what our Native farmers and ranchers face when bringing their goods to market. She recognizes the role the Bureau of Indian Affairs plays in creating economic development on Indian Reservations and how food can build rural economies. With Haaland at the helm at the Department of the Interior, the federal government will have a leader with the lived experience to lead our rural economies into a brighter future.
“Deb Haaland is an incredible choice to lead the Department of the Interior,” said Janie Hipp (Chickasaw), CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund. “She brings decades of solid and informed experience to the position and knows what it takes to build strong, local food economies that will sustain our communities and feed our people.”

Standing Rock Rancher Runs Nation’s Largest Native-Owned Buffalo Herd

“Today, the Brownotter Buffalo Ranch on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation sprawls over 20,000 acres, home to a herd of 600. His herd is part of a buffalo resurgence at Standing Rock that also includes native herds owned by the tribe and others.”


NAAF LISTENING SESSION February 18th, 2021

The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) would like to invite you to a listening session on February 18th, 2021 at 2pm Central Time. This inagural session begins a series of sessions which will be held the 3rd Thursday of every month throughout the year. This listening session is an opportunity for NAAF to listen to Indian Country. In addition, we will have an opportunity for participants to ask questions regarding the NAAF organization. This is open to the public.


Additional Listening Session Dates:

April 15th, 2021
June 17th, 2021
August 19th, 2021
October 21, 2021
December 16th, 2021


 In today’s challenging farm financial climate, having a positive lender relationship is key for farmers and ranchers. How can you be best prepared to work with your lender? Join this series of webinars to learn how to be well prepared for lender meetings, thus cultivating a positive borrower relationship. We will cover preparing a balance sheet to convey your financial position; understanding the Sch. F tax form to share farm profitability; and telling your story to your lender, preparing a cash flow plan and other business planning tools.

The Native American Agriculture Fund applauds the steps taken by USDA to Temporarily Suspend Debt Collections and Foreclosures on Distressed Farm Loans

Fayetteville, Arkansas-The US Department of Agriculture announced it was temporarily suspending debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under programs administered by the Farm Service Agency due to the national public health emergency caused by COVID-19.
“This is an important step that can help alleviate significant levels of stress on the agriculture sector – and more importantly on those who get up every morning to feed the rest of us,” said Janie Hipp (Chickasaw), CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund. “This action will give our nation’s agricultural producers the breathing room they need to continue on in the midst of this global pandemic. Our rural and remote reservation and agricultural communities in Indian Country will rest a little easier because of this important step taken by USDA.”
“In the past, we had to push hard on USDA to consider such actions to help producers,” Hipp continued. “Today, we are seeing USDA proactively take these steps to give folks the breathing room they need to readjust their operations and survive to farm and ranch another day. We look forward to updates in the future and other actions like this to proactively help our nation’s farmers, ranchers and dedicated food champions.”


In today’s challenging farm financial climate, having a positive lender relationship is key for farmers and ranchers.  How can you be best prepared to work with your lender?  Join this series of webinars to learn how to be well prepared for lender meetings, thus cultivating a positive borrower relationship.  We will cover preparing a balance sheet to convey your financial position; understanding the Sch. F tax form to show farm profitability; and telling your story to your lender, preparing a cash flow plan and other business planning tools, share farm profitability and ensure full access to farm programs.

Topic: Native American Producers Finance Toolkit Series
Time: Jan 27, 2021 02:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Wed, until Feb 10, 2021, 3 occurrence(s)
Jan 27, 2021 02:00 PM
Feb 3, 2021 02:00 PM
Feb 10, 2021 02:00 PM
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Native American Agriculture Fund Partners with the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization

Fayetteville, Arkansas- The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is pleased to announce that it has recently partnered with the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program members to strengthen pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) through 12th grade agricultural literacy outreach to educators serving Native American communities.
NAAF will work with NAITCO to increase the number of teachers who are working with Native students who will attend the 2021 NAITCO conference “Fields of Dreams” June 28-July 1 in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference provides important professional development opportunities for teachers throughout the country. The teachers who will come to the conference will hear from Dr. Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, who has authored many books throughout his career. His career has been dedicated to equity, education, and cultural work; his keynote address will be: “Transformative Teaching: How to Infuse Equity Tools in Your Classroom Delivery.”
NAAF’s partnership with NAITCO will also encompass working on Native farming articles for the AgMag publication that is part of Agriculture in the Classroom work that reaches Native communities. Focusing on creating unique opportunities to reach Native communities through teacher professional development and special publications can have the combined impact of strengthening NAITC’s work in Native communities.
“With partners like the Native American Agriculture Fund, we are able to reach more teachers and more Native students, aiding NAAF in its efforts to create Native American youth leaders in the agriculture sector,” said Tammy Maxey, president of NAITCO and programs director of Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom.
“Educating youth about the value and role of agriculture, and careers in agriculture in their communities is critical,” said Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw), chief executive officer of NAAF. “We are pleased to work with NAITCO and assist in our joint efforts to encourage more agriculture-focused educational resources available to Native K-12 students and to assist in supporting teachers of Native students, who are such a critical link.”
NAITCO is a non-profit organization made up of AITC programs in 50 states including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its mission is to educate teachers and students in Pre-K-12 about the importance of agriculture by incorporating agricultural concepts into classroom instruction. NAITCO and its AITC state program members reached 87,000 teachers and 8.2 million students in 2019. To learn more about NAITCO, please visit

Reclaiming the National Bison Range

After decades of battling misinformation, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes recover their lands and the herd.



The Biden Administration’s Conservation Plan Must Prioritize Indigenous Leadership- New Issue Brief from the Center for American Progress

Washington, D.C. — In its push to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and ocean by 2030—known as the 30×30 plan—the Biden administration should respect tribal sovereignty and support conservation efforts led by Indigenous communities, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.

By pledging to provide Native American tribes with a greater role in the care and management of public lands, President Joe Biden has shown a willingness to confront the injustices that affect nearly all aspects of U.S. natural resource policy, the brief says. These include not only the history of land theft, erasure and genocide, but also the government’s continued failure to meet its trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations and failure to recognize the integral contributions that Indigenous peoples have made to biodiversity and the climate.

“Recognizing, supporting and funding Indigenous-led conservation is not just a legal and moral imperative, but also a way to build the most effective conservation policies,” said Sahir Doshi, author of the issue brief and a research assistant at CAP. “It’s time to restore decision-making power to those who have the right and record to wield it best.”

The new administration has an opportunity to show that it will keep a respect for tribal sovereignty at the center of the broader 30×30 plan. It should ensure that tribes are included early in the process at the highest level of decision-making. New conservation opportunities should also be made available to tribes with funding and flexibility. By meaningfully prioritizing tribal sovereignty, the administration can strive to meet its trust and treaty obligations, rather than once again offering lofty language without the backing of institutional muscle.

CAP’s recommends that the Biden administration establish a tribal-led task force to advise the interior secretary on tribal priorities for natural resource management and the pursuit of 30×30. The task force should make recommendations that would:

  • Ground all agency dealings and consultations with tribes in respect for tribal sovereignty
  • Provide tribes with the funds and flexibility needed to execute their vision
  • Build on the Bears Ears National Monument model to enable genuine tribal co-management on public lands
  • Respect and protect traditional ecological knowledge from erasure and exploitation
  • Explore new ideas to recognize Indigenous-led conservation, especially of sacred sites and culturally significant resources
  • Support key tribal priorities like homeland restoration

Read the issue brief: “The Biden Administration’s Conservation Plan Must Prioritize Indigenous Leadership” by Sahir Doshi

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at .

The Native American Agriculture Fund Champions Efforts to Bring John Deere Agriculture Equipment to Indian Country

Fayetteville, Arkansas-The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) congratulates the Akana Group, Inc. (Akana) and John Deere as they work together to provide government sales business opportunities for small businesses and Native American business enterprises.
Akana is a certified Native American owned small business enterprise specializing in connecting Native American governments and their related enterprises with important opportunities to access equipment purchasing offered by John Deere. Native American governments and many of their current and emerging businesses are engaged in more and more agricultural business activities that not only provide diversification of their business into the agriculture sector, but also produce food for use by their communities.
Akana has deep knowledge of various equipment categories important to Tribes, including agriculture, construction, forestry and lawn care. Akana’s relationship with John Deere is already providing important third-party assistance to connect Tribes to meet their equipment needs. Part of the agreement between Akana and John Deere is to leverage the strength of the John Deere dealer network to assist with both the delivery of any new equipment purchase, as well as the parts and service support needed to make the customer successful for the long term.
Agriculture continues to grow in Indian Country. NAAF, in its unique role as the largest philanthropic organization providing grant funding opportunities in support of Native farmers and ranchers, is already seeing many Tribes submit applications for scaling up their existing operations, finding new markets and making more efforts to achieve food security and economic diversification. With over 50 million acres of land in Indian Country already engaged in agriculture production, and those numbers growing, the need for equipment continues to grow. Many farmers are finding that even within a global health crisis and in the face of various disruptions in supply chain, the demand for more food production is leading to increased purchases in equipment or taking the next step to upgrade existing equipment.
Several months ago, NAAF and Akana began discussions, which have now broadened to include John Deere. NAAF knows the importance of making the right equipment decision, and the ability of Tribal governments and their affiliated entities to access pre-negotiated discount rates for equipment purchases will greatly increase opportunities for investment and can provide the edge needed.
“We look forward to working alongside the Akana Group and John Deere to bring this important opportunity to Indian Country leadership. Agriculture investments are on the rise, and we have ongoing needs for forestry, construction and turf equipment. We are thrilled to see where these new friends of NAAF will take us,” says Janie Hipp, CEO of NAAF.
Hipp’s own grandfather had a small tractor dealership in Southeast Oklahoma during her youth and she remembers how important equipment is to the success of new, beginning or well-established farms and ranches.
“Equipment needs never end,” says Hipp. “Many of the first conversations I had with Native farmers and ranchers in the early days of NAAF were around their equipment needs. If Tribal governments and their affiliated organizations can be the bridge to improving Indian Country’s access to equipment that can in turn support our continued commitment to our agriculture economies, we will all be the better for it. We look forward to deepening our relationship with John Deere and to explore all opportunities before us to make sure that Indian Country has access to the equipment it needs.”
“It is with great excitement to learn of this relationship between NAAF, the Akana Group and John Deere,” said Dr. David Yarlott, President of Little Big Horn College. “This opens up opportunities to Indian Country in the agricultural area, which includes Tribal Colleges and Universities. Growing up farming, and now ranching, I have first-hand experience in the challenges of having access to agricultural equipment. Being a President of a 1994 Land Grant Tribal College, I look forward to how we might be able to assist our local Native Farmers and Ranchers!”