NAAF 2023 Internship Available Now

The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) Spring 2023 Internship program will provide currently enrolled college students in good standing with their university/institution an opportunity to sharpen professional development skills, offer learning experiences tailored to supporting Native agriculture, grant-making, and the space to pursue subject areas they are individually passionate about.

Interns will gain a deep understanding of the NAAF mission as they build organizational skills and complete special projects with experienced NAAF staff.

Deadline: Monday December 14, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST

What are the requirements?

  • Must be an enrolled college student (undergrad or graduate),
  • In good standing with your university/institution,
  • Does NOT have to be an agriculture science major to apply.

Any additional questions, email Jasmine Locklear at or text/call via phone at 479-445-7853

Apply Here

November 5, 2022 | 10 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Native Veteran Roundtable

The Native American Agriculture Fund has partnered with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to host a virtual roundtable for Native veterans. Any Native veteran interested in agriculture is welcome to join in a discussion about what Native veterans need to flourish in the agricultural industry.

This meeting will review the results of a nationwide Native veteran survey and dive into what the next steps are to increase veteran-led agriculture production.

Register in advance for this meeting: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Register for the Roundtable

A letter from NAAF’s CEO on Monumental USDA Announcement of $800 Million in Assistance for Distressed Farm Loan Borrowers

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that distressed borrowers with qualifying USDA farm loans recently received nearly $800 million in assistance. This funding was mainly derived from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), with some additional resources coming from the COVID-19 Pandemic Relief. Through the IRA, USDA was directed to expedite services to distressed borrowers with either direct or guaranteed loans...

While working in the Civil Rights Office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I witnessed first-hand the devastation of hard-working families that, at one point or another, were faced with extenuating circumstances that required a simple hand-up. When USDA wasn’t able to provide that, in some circumstances, it meant a loss of everything. A number of producers I worked with in the past were paying off debt for farming operations their adult children had never even seen. An entire generation was removed from their family farms. For too many years, USDA did not have sufficient funding to provide this type of assistance to borrowers. With the IRA, USDA and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will finally have the resources to implement the tools in their toolbox.

-Toni Stanger Mc Laughlin, CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund

Read the Full Press Release

NAAF to partner with Food Research & Action Center, UnidosUS, and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition on the new WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Program

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) announced $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help increase the number of participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Through the WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Program, FRAC will partner with UnidosUS, the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF), and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN) to support community-based organizations, WIC state and local agencies, and other nonprofits in developing and implementing innovative outreach strategies to increase WIC participation and retention, with a focus on underserved populations.

“Understanding the unique challenges that impact Tribal communities is critical in order to reclaim food security for our communities,” said Toni Stanger-McLaughlin, chief executive officer of the Native American Agriculture Fund. “During COVID-19, one in four American Indian and Alaska Natives experienced very low food insecurity. That rate of food insecurity cannot continue. Throughout Indian Country, we can be the most rural of rural populations, which can require traveling far distances to reach the nearest grocery store. This WIC community innovation outreach program will advance equity in federal nutrition programs, so that Native women, infants, and children have access to healthy and nourishing foods they need to thrive, and will elevate the importance of establishing tribal-led food systems and expanding opportunities for Native-grown and culturally relevant food procurement.”

Learn More about the WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Program
Read the official FRAC release
Read the USDA News Release

NAAF Applauds the Biden Administration and Secretary Vilsack for Seeking Comment from Those Who Have Experienced USDA Lending Discrimination  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they are seeking public comment on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Section 22007 addressing discrimination in USDA farm lending programs. Section 22007 of the IRA appropriates $2.2 billion for financial assistance opportunities to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who have experienced discrimination prior to January 1, 2021.  

“Despite the previous barriers in this Administration’s attempt to offer assistance to producers who have experienced past discrimination, NAAF is encouraged by the continued measures to better serve those that have and continue to experience those harms. Although the solutions this Administration is seeking today differ slightly from the language previously proposed in past legislation, we believe the intent remains the same in seeking comment from those that were harmed and those entities that advocate for underserved producers. This is a continued step in the right direction. When a Native agricultural producer walks into any lending institution, they should have access to equitable support and be able to work with knowledgeable lenders who understand the intricacies of Indian Country land and agriculture,” says Toni Stanger-McLaughlin, CEO of NAAF.  

The 30-day comment period opened Friday, October 14, and closes on November 14, 2022.

Additionally, USDA will host three virtual listening sessions the two remaining are listed below.

Upcoming Listening Sessions

For more information on the open comment period and additional provisions, visit the Federal Register here.  

Read the Full Press Release

Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative is offering FREE food safety training for tribal farms and producers.

The training course is seven hours long and will cover the following areas:

  • Produce safety;
  • Worker health, hygiene, and training;
  • Soil amendments;
  • Wildlife, domesticated animals, and land use;
  • Agricultural water (Part 1: production water, Part 2: postharvest water)
  • Postharvest handling and sanitation
  • Farm Food safety planning

Determine whether your operation is covered by the Produce Safety Rule and/ or schedule a Grower Training by reaching out to IFAI's Tribal Enterprise Specialist Will Seeley:

Read More

New Grant Opportunity & Training Webinars Available for U.S. Farmers and Producers Interested in the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP)

Under the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP), USDA is making $500 million in grants available to increase American-made fertilizer production to spur competition and combat price hikes on U.S. farmers. Competitive grants of up to $100 million are available to support and expand independent, innovative and sustainable fertilizer and nutrient alternatives production in the U.S. and its territories to supply American farmers.

Applications are open now.

Program Application Period:

First application window closes November 14, 2022. (45 days from 9/30/2022)

Second application window closes December 29, 2022. (90 days from 9/30/2022)

FPEP webinars

Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP): Program Overview

Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP): Application Requirements

Overview Slides
Requirement Slides

For webinar recording updates, visit USDA FPEP webpage.

Visit the USDA Rural Development website to learn more and apply.

Learn More and Apply for the FPEP 

Eight days remaining to apply for USDA funding for underserved producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced funding to support projects that enable underserved producers to access land, capital, markets, student scholarships, paid internships, fellowships, and other job and training opportunities at eligible institutions, including Tribal Colleges and Alaska Native-serving institutions.

Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access (Increasing Land Access) Program

Deadline: October 28, 2022

Apply Here:

From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals

Deadline: October 25, 2022

Apply here:

Read the USDA Press Release
Do you want to be featured like the grantee's below?
Tag us, @nativeagfund, in your social media posts and we'll reach out to you to highlight in our next newsletter!

Celebrating 2022 Indigenous People's Day


Eagle Butte, SD

"Akiptan celebrates Indigenous People's Day by working with our partners to transform the Native agriculture and food economies, by delivering creative capital, leading paradigm changes, and enhancing producer prosperity across Indian Country.


Akiptan was founded on the principles of lender security and producer prosperity, patient capital instead of extractive capital, innovative lending, and relationship based lending. This is reflected in our name, Akiptan, which is Lakota for doing something together or in a joint effort as a partnership. Our lending has been largely successful due to our patient capital and relationship lending approach. Akiptan's youth programming was specifically designed to introduce youth to financial literacy and real world skills that will ensure that they have the tools necessary to have successful agriculture careers. By ensuring our future generations have a solid financial literacy foundation, we are ensuring the future of the ag business ecosystem."

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website

Zuni Youth Enrichment Project

Zuni, NM

"Indigenous People's Day is important because Zuni people are still here and thriving, after thousands of years from emergence to now, despite historical and modern forms of colonization and trauma, as well as environmental factors such as climate change.

We keep Zuni language and traditions alive by continuing the agricultural practices of the ones who came before us, and preserving it for the ones who are coming after us. We celebrate our identity by being proud Shiwi (Zuni) farmers."

Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | Website

Native Farm Bill Coalition Releases Gaining Ground Report

Have you had a chance to read the Native Farm Bill Coalition's new report: Gaining Ground: A Report on the 2018 Farm Bill Successes for Indian Country and Opportunities for 2023?

The report outlines the significant progress to be made in strengthening Tribal sovereignty, food security, and rural infrastructure and includes more than 150+ Indian Country priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill.

Here's What's Included in the Report:

  • Title I: Commodities (p. 16)
  • Title II: Conservation (p. 24)
  • Title III: Trade (p. 36)
  • Title IV: Nutrition (p. 42)
  • Title V: Credit (p. 54)
  • Title VI: Rural Development (p. 62)
  • Title VII: Research (p.76)
  • Title VIII: Forestry (p. 86)
  • Title IX: Energy (p. 94)
  • Title X: Horticulture (p.100)
  • Title XI: Crop Insurance (p. 106)
  • Title XII: Miscellaneous (p. 114)

The Native American Agriculture Fund is proud to be a sponsor of the Gaining Ground report alongside Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger. 

Read the Report
Watch the Webinar