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The Native Farm Bill Coalition (NFBC) is a nationwide initiative to lift up the voices of Native American producers and Tribal governments to advance common policy agenda. 

It works to ensure that Indian Country’s priorities are acknowledged and included in the decision making process for the next Farm Bill, from farming and ranching to nutrition programs, rural development and forestry. The NFBC is a joint project of the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, its official research partner.


Since the Coalition’s launch in October 2017, more than 170 Tribes, Intertribal groups, other Native organizations, and non-Native allies have become members of the Native Farm Bill Coalition. Together, the members developed the Coalition’s priorities for the Farm Bill and kept Congress focused on Tribal concerns. Thanks to the Coalition’s research, education, and advocacy at the U.S. Capitol and across the country, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law in December 2018 with 63 separate provisions that benefit Indian Country, an unprecedented degree of success. These 63 provisions impact everything from strengthening Tribal self-governance and the management of nutrition programs to investing in economic development opportunities.

After successfully helping to shape the 2018 Farm Bill, the Coalition has remained active and continues to advocate on behalf of Indian Country interests. This involves working with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on its implementation of the new Tribal authorities and access under the Farm Bill. The Coalition continues to educate policymakers on Native nutritional and agricultural issues, assisting in oversight activities and urging Congress to further expand its recognition of Tribal self-determination authority.

With the upcoming Farm Bill on the horizon, the Coalition will continue to advance Native policy priorities as Congress begins discussing the upcoming legislation.


Every five years, Congress passes a Farm Bill. This massive piece of legislation funds and sets policy on a wide variety of national programs ranging from nutrition and agriculture to conservation and forestry.


Indian Country has an enormous interest in this legislation. Despite recent tribal progress to restore Native food systems, many Tribes still rely heavily on federal programs to feed  themselves. The 2018 Farm Bill was a historic milestone for Indian Country and the federal government’s focus on and investment in Native agricultural production, rural infrastructure, economic development, conservation, and forestry. It also safeguarded vitally important nutrition assistance programs on which many Native Americans depend.



Since its creation in 1987, the Intertribal Agriculture Council has been one of the stalwart voices for Tribal producers and Tribal government interests in food and agriculture advocacy. In the 1990 Farm Bill, “Tribes” and “Tribal producers” were listed several times for the very first time. Through IAC’s advocacy, technical education and public issues efforts, and later partners joining in, the Farm Bill included more opportunities for Tribes and Tribal producers. The connection between IAC’s technical education and public issues advocacy allowed others to see what was wrong and how it should be fixed.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s five-year philanthropic campaign to improve Native nutrition and food sovereignty led to it commissioning a landmark report, Regaining Our Future, which identified how Indian Country could be better positioned in the 2018 Farm Bill. Through this report, IAC's network of advocates, and significant financial support from the SMSC, the Native Farm Bill Coalition was launched to give Tribes and Native producers a stronger, more united voice to advance a common Farm Bill agenda.


A component of ensuring that the NFBC represents all of Indian Country’s agriculture and food issues and concerns is through our Executive Committee. The Executive Committee serves to consult the NFBC and provide input. The NFBC is a joint project of the Intertribal Agriculture Council; the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community; the National Congress of American Indians; and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. The Coalition is co-chaired by Kari Jo Lawrence, Executive Director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council and Tribal Chairman Cole Miller of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.



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Co-Chair Kari Jo Lawrence

Chief Executive Officer

Intertribal Agriculture Council

Co-Chair Cole Miller

Tribal Chairman

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

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Abi Fain

Chief Legal & Policy Officer

Intertribal Agriculture Council


Phil Baker-Shenk


Holland & Knight LLP on behalf of the SMSC 

Kayla Gebeck


Holland & Knight LLP on behalf of the SMSC

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Ryan Seelau

Policy & Legal Director

National Congress of American Indians

Erin Parker

Executive Director

Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative

For media inquiries please contact Sara Swenson at (952) 221-5368 or at


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