Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative Funded for Youth Summits
Posted on February 12, 2016
The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, based in the University of Arkansas School of Law, has received a three-year, $681,459 grant to fund the Native Youth in Agriculture Summer Leadership Summit.
The summit, now entering its third year, is currently accepting applications from American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native youth, ages 15-18. In 2015, 84 students representing 47 tribes attended the summit, and the program hopes to serve 100 youth this year. Contact the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative or visit the website for more information or an application. Older students should consider applying to be a student leader for the program.
“The Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative is a great illustration of how higher education institutions should work everyday to create greater access for underrepresented students while also providing valuable support for the betterment of their communities,” said Charles Robinson, University of Arkansas vice chancellor for diversity and community. “I am very proud of Dean Leeds and all of the people in our School of Law and campuswide who are making this happen.”
The summit promotes farming, ranching and food businesses as productive and sustainable career choices for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian youth. It also secures the future of tribal food systems by promoting intertribal cooperation and an understanding of food sovereignty. And it ensures the success of future native farmers and ranchers by giving them the specialized education they need to thrive as the next generation of Indian Country food and agriculture leaders.
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, sponsored by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the United States Department of Agriculture, provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. The summit serves only native youth because of the unique legal complexities surrounding land status, credit access, food safety protocols, and more, that only Native producers must confront when engaging in food systems careers. Through a combination of classroom and experiential learning, the summit provides a singular educational experience for native youth.
About the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative: The Initiative enhances health and wellness in Tribal communities by advancing economic development and cultural heritage in Indian Country. We empower tribal governments, farmers, ranchers and food businesses by providing strategic planning and technical assistance; by creating new academic and executive education programs in food systems and agriculture; and by increasing student enrollment in land grant universities in food and agricultural related disciplines.