June 13, 2023 - Tribal Business News
Tribal Business News recently featured the Native Farm Bill Coalition's research partner, the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. IFAI's Associate Executive Director, Carly Griffith Hotvedt, spoke with Tribal Business News about the Farm Bill's impact on Indian Country and Tribal food and agricultural growth. Read an excerpt of the article below:
The deadline for the 2023 Farm Bill is fast approaching in September, with the potential to build on colossal successes for Indian Country that were present in the 2018 iteration.
The Native Farm Bill Coalition (NFBC), an alliance of Native agricultural organizations, has put together more than 150 total suggested provisions for the bill, hoping to revitalize tribal self-determination programs, access to credit, and food sovereignty.
NFBC has strongly supported self-determination by pushing programs that allow tribes to select their own foods — called “638 projects” under their initial implementation as a pilot program — as well as food sovereignty efforts, including increased support for meat processing and strengthened infrastructure.
As a partner in the NFBC, the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) at the University of Arkansas has helped draft some of that policy. Carly Griffith Hotvedt, associate director at IFAI, has had a front-row seat during the Farm Bill’s policy development and, consequently, seen broad support for the measures on both sides of the political aisle, as well as from the public through listening sessions and consultation periods.
With that wide base of support, Hotvedt feels positive about the Farm Bill’s legislative path ahead, even with a Congress that is so divided.
“I think the perspective here is that this needs to get done, and it needs to be done in a bipartisan way,” Hotvedt said. “What we’re seeing is bipartisan support on these issues in Indian Country and the policymakers that support us are going to be influential in that process.”
Read the full article by clicking the button below.