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Council on Native American Farming and Ranching gets new members

Filed Under: National
More on: cnafr, federal register, keepseagle, meetings, tom vilsack, usda

Chief Kirk Francis, Sr. of the Penobscot Nation of Maine addresses the Department of Agriculture Native American Heritage Month Observance in Washington, D.C., on November 17, 2016. Photo by USDA

The Council for Native American Farming and Ranching has a few new members as it heads into a meeting this week.

The council was created through the Keepseagle settlement that addressed discrimination at the Department of Agriculture. It consists of 15 members who advise the Secretary of Agriculture on ways to eliminate barriers to Native American participation in USDA programs.

"The Council for Native American Farming and Ranching strengthens our partnerships with tribal governments, businesses, farmers, and ranchers," Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release on Monday. "Their work encourages participation of new and historically underserved agricultural producers in USDA programs, and reflects a strong intergovernmental relationship built upon shared values and inclusion."

In the press release, Vilsack announced six new members and re-appointed five others to serve on the council. The move comes ahead of a meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday and Friday.

"This will be the first meeting held during fiscal year 2017 and will consist of, but not be limited to: Hearing public comments, update of USDA programs and activities, and discussion of committee priorities. This meeting will be open to the public," a notice that was published in the Federal Register on Friday states.

The six new members of the council are:
• Erin Shirl, Assistant Director for the Indigenous Food & Ag Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
• Gilbert Louis III, Firefighter and Farmer / Rancher, (Acoma Pueblo), Grants, New Mexico
• Maggie Goode, Probation Officer and Farmer / Rancher, (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes), Hot Springs, Montana
• Roselynn Yazzie, Crop Manager, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, (Navajo Nation), Farmington, New Mexico
• Sherry Crutcher, Rancher and Director of Natural Resources for the Shoshone Paiute Tribe, (Shoshone-Paiute Tribe), Owyhee, Nevada
• Shannon McDaniel, Farmer / Rancher and Executive Director of Agriculture for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Durant, Oklahoma

The five members who were re-appointed are:
• Angela Peter, Executive Director, Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance, (Native Village of Tyonek), Tyonek, Alaska
• Jerry McPeak, Farmer / Rancher and Former State Legislator, (Muscogee Creek), Warner, Oklahoma
• Mark Wadsworth, Range Conservationist for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, (Shoshone-Bannock), Fort Hall, Idaho
•Sarah Vogel, Civil Rights Attorney and Former Agricultural Commissioner for North Dakota, Bismarck, North Dakota
• Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director of Lakota Funds, (Oglala Sioux), Kyle, South Dakota

In addition to the 11 members, four USDA officials serve on the council. They are:
• Jason Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service
• Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency
• Dr. Joe Leonard, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
• Leslie Wheelock (Oneida), Director, Office of Tribal Relations

Federal Register Notice:
Council for Native American Farming and Ranching: Public Meeting (December 2, 2016)

Related Stories:
Nominees sought for Council for Native American Farming and Ranching (07/06)
Native Sun News: Additional funds coming from Keepseagle case (06/14)
Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants (05/25)
Keepseagle attorneys announce $38 million in one-time grants (5/17)
Judge approves agreement for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (04/21)
Judge weighs compromise for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (02/05)
Judge can't reopen Keepseagle case after $380M goes unspent (07/27)
Marshall Matz: Fight for $380M in Keepseagle funds continues (07/01)
Indian farmers rally over $380M in unspent Keepseagle funds (06/29)
Indian farmers protest foundation with $380M Keepseagle funds (12/04)
Keepseagle plaintiffs oppose use of $380M to create foundation (09/30)
Native Sun News: Indian farmers question Keepseagle attorneys (08/22)
Details announced for meetings about $380M Keepseagle fund (07/17)
Keepseagle attorneys schedule meetings to discuss $380M fund (7/8)
USDA questions plan to create $380M Keepseagle foundation (09/18)
Opinion: Keepseagle foundation boosts farmers and ranchers (9/13)
Choctaw Nation seeks $58.5M from Keepseagle for foundation (9/6)
Keepseagle foundation would share $380M with Indian Country (9/3)
Magazine: Farmers hope for new era with USDA settlement (8/27)
Most of Indian farmer discrimination settlement goes unspent (04/26)

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