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Indian agriculture summit planned for May 24-26



Fallon event hosted by Cooperative Extension and College of Agriculture

By Andrew Church

unr-ex-9042881-2221546The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural resources is hosting the 2010 Indian Agriculture and Rural Summit May 24-26 at the Fallon Convention Center. The conference will feature a number of educational programs as well as address many issues facing Native Americans in agriculture.

The conference includes sessions on direct marketing strategies, food safety requirements, farm-to-school programs, business planning and budgeting, and federal insurance, loan and grant programs. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the USDA Farm Service Agency, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Western Center for Risk Management Education are helping sponsor the event. Additional funding is being provided by the USDA Risk Management Agency and the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

“The summit will serve as a means for Indian tribes and individuals to come together, discuss items of common interest, become familiar with risk management strategies, and learn about existing USDA programming focused on specific changes that have made these USDA programs more attractive,” said Randy Emm, Indian reservation program coordinator for Cooperative Extension. “There is a wide range of USDA programs, from lending opportunities through FSA, the EQIP program through NRCS, and alternative energy programs through Rural Development that can be explored.  Our goal is to provide an opportunity for Indian tribes and the Indian people in Nevada to utilize each and every available tool to sustain agriculture on the various reservations, providing for a better way of life. ”

A free pre-conference workshop titled “People of the Land: Sustaining American Indian Agriculture in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington” will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 24 at the convention center.  Following the pre-conference workshop, there will be a facilitated session from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on effective tribal outreach efforts between USDA and Nevada tribes.  The People of the Land workshop is designed to educate participants on Native American society as well as agricultural issues facing today’s Native Americans in the West. The seminar will address federal Indian policies, land tenure types on reservations, irrigation and water rights issues on reservation land, and tactics on implementing agricultural and natural resource programs in Native American society.

Registration for “People of the Land” is limited to 60 people. To register, call Staci Emm at 775-945-3444 or at [email protected].

The 2010 Indian Agriculture and Rural Summit will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. A $40 registration fee will provide participants with materials, snacks and lunch for both days of the Summit. The Fallon Convention Center is located on 100 Campus Way in Fallon. Registration and travel scholarships are available.

More information on the summit: Randy Emm at 775-316-1184 or at [email protected] or Kynda Curtis at [email protected].

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