Staci Emm - National Ag Risk Education Library

Report
American Indian Farmer and Rancher
Outreach and Assistance Improvement Project
Women
involved in
American Indian Agriculture
Staci Emm, Extension Educator
Loretta Singletary, Extension Educator/Area Director
Steve Lewis, Extension Educator
Fara Brummer, Washington/Oregon Research Consultant
Vicki Hebb, South Dakota/North Dakota Research Consultant
Kathy Frazier, Nevada/Idaho Research Assistant
This project was made possible through funding from the USDA,
Office of Advocacy and Outreach 2501 program and the
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
United States Department of Agriculture
Office of Advocacy and Outreach
This United States Department of Agriculture,
Office of Advocacy and Outreach American Indian
Farmer and Rancher Outreach and Assistance
Improvement Project targets American Indian
farmers and ranchers in a six state area.
 Nevada
 Idaho
 Washington
 Oregon
 South Dakota
 North Dakota
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This aggressive community-based research
addresses why USDA programs are underutilized
in a six-state area of the Western United States.
Secondary data collection identifies which
American Indian farmers and ranchers are
utilizing the different programs within USDA
compared to the number of American Indian
farmers and ranchers in the six-state area.
Challenges have been identified that Indian
producers face on reservations in sustaining
agricultural enterprises and utilizing USDA
programs, specifically Natural Resources
Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and
Rural Development.
State
(alphabetically
listed)
Farms with American Indian
Operators a
American Indian Land in
Farms a
(acres)
Idaho
351
553,531
Nevada
488
1,083,341
North Dakota
503
565,273
Oregon
847
601,187
South Dakota
1,150
3,750,015
Washington
912
2,518,026
Total
4,251
9,071,373
a 2007
Census of Agriculture: Table 51
Note: Need additional research in identifying American Indian women in agriculture.
Understanding Agriculture in Oregon and Washington
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The Cascade Mountains distinctly divide the western and
eastern sides of both Oregon and Washington.
Precipitation varies over this area from 6 inches on the eastern
desert dominated side, to 250 inches within the rainforest of
the Olympic Peninsula of Washington (United States
Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation
Service, 2011).
Current agricultural uses of these lands also vary distinctly
based on precipitation and soil types. For example, tribes on
the east side produce more livestock and have larger farming
operations due to their larger land bases and rangeland sites,
while tribes on the west side are developing specialty markets
for aquaculture products such as geoduct clams, which supply
a demanding market in Japan.
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There are nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon,
and 29 in Washington.
The two largest reservations in Oregon are the
Umatilla and the Warm Springs. The two largest
reservations in Washington are Umatilla and Colville.
Most of the tribal lands on these reservations are
commercially farmed by non-Indians, either through a
farm enterprise business model, or through individual
leases
Smaller tribes have limited agriculture due to smaller
acreage base. However, their forms of agriculture tend
to focus on niche or specialty markets such as the west
side aquaculture production of geoduct clams, mussels,
and oysters.
Timber extraction also appears to be very common
amongst all the Northwest Tribes, regardless of size.
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Current USDA Programs Used
Larger farming operations are more aware of USDA Services that
focus on commodity based crops. This involves Farm Service
Agency.
Across the board, tribes appear to be aware of NRCS as an
outreach of USDA.
Some tribes such as the Colville and the Confederated Tribes of
Warm Springs have NRCS and FSA personnel housed in Tribal
Natural Resource offices, increasing the outreach effort of related
programs.
Smaller tribes, or tribes without a more recent traditional farming
effort are not yet fully connected with the extent of services that
USDA might provide in terms of agricultural development.
Some tribes appear to be aware of conservation programs
administered by NRCS such as CREP (Conservation Reserve
Enhancement Program), EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive
Program), and WRP (Wetland Reserve Program) although these
programs are not directly connected with agriculture.
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Cultural Implication of Participating in USDA Programs
The common relevant theme for tribal participation in
USDA programs appears to be based on relationship
between the tribal entity and the USDA office
In general, there appears to be a need for better
understanding of the full array of USDA services that may
be applied in Indian country.
The Tribal peoples of Oregon and Washington vary in their
use of natural resources ,which includes agricultural
production. Agricultural use depends on participation and
land base which is influenced by location. Use of USDA
programs also varies depending on location and existing
relationships with USDA offices and personnel in the area.
Understand agriculture in Idaho and Nevada
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The Native American people of the Great Basin inhabit a cultural region
between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, in
what is now Nevada, and parts of Oregon, California, Idaho, Wyoming,
and Utah.
There are 26 tribes in the state of Nevada and 4 in Idaho.
The Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Reservation straddles the NevadaIdaho border and is counted as a Nevada tribe in this project.
The reservations vary in size from 20 acres to 500,000+ acres.
The major agricultural products of the Nevada tribes are alfalfa and cattle,
while the Idaho tribes produce wheat, potatoes, and various other specialty
crops.
The majority of Native farmers and ranchers do not farm or ranch on a fulltime basis as they also have full-time employment.
Current USDA Programs Used
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USDA programs currently utilized by the Great Basin tribes
include Farm Service Agency (FSA), Noninsured Crop Disaster
Assistance Program (NAP); Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS), Agricultural Water Enhancement Program
(EQIP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP).
The majority of the Great Basin tribes are accessing the nonagricultural Rural and Economic Development programs such as
Telecommunication Loans and Grants for installation of
community internet access and Housing and Community
Assistance programs.
Unfortunately, a majority of the tribal members do not have the
necessary information on USDA programs and therefore do not
take full advantage of the numerous loans and grants that are
available.
Cultural Implication of Participating in USDA programs
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The common theme among Native farmers and ranchers is they would
like to see USDA personnel develop a personal relationship with their
farming/ranching operation by making on-site visits and/or helping
with the branding of calves, etc.
Outreach seems to be lacking in the more remote Indian reservations due
to the great travel distance to USDA offices. Information in these areas is
usually passed on by word of mouth and is not always accurate.
Improved communication, accessibility, equality, and technical assistance
are desired by Native American farmers and ranchers in order to increase
participation in USDA programs.
Change of requirement/regulations for participation in USDA programs
was also of major concern as Native farmers and ranchers felt it was to
their detriment that non-natives leasing reservation lands be allowed to
benefit from USDA programs ear-marked for Indian reservations.
Understand agriculture in North Dakota and South Dakota
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The tribes occupying the Northern Great Plains region for evaluation
purposes of this study occupy a region that includes the modern day
states of South Dakota and North Dakota.
The one common theme between these tribes that surfaced was livestock
production, the rancher lifestyle and the important cultural traditions that
remain today.
The topography of South Dakota and North Dakota are similar with hills,
such as the Black Hills of South Dakota on the Western portion of the
state and flatter, more suited to farm ground in the Easter portion of the
states.
There are nine federally recognized tribes in South Dakota, and five in
North Dakota with two (Standing Rock Sioux and Sisseton Wahpeton)
tribal reservations straddling the South Dakota/North Dakota border
The majority of agriculture involves livestock production which includes
cattle, horses, hay, cereal grains, and oilseeds.
Most of the tribal lands on these reservations are commercially farmed by
a combination of Indians and non-Indians, either through a farm
enterprise business model, or through individual leases
Current USDA Programs Used
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It appears that American Indian producers with larger
farming/ranching operations are more aware of USDA
Services. Across the board, producers appear to be
aware of NRCS as an outreach of USDA, FSA as the
commodity and livestock loan program.
Some American Indian producers appear to be aware
of conservation programs administered by NRCS such
as CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement
Program), EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive
Program), and WRP (Wetland Reserve Program)
although these programs are not directly connected
with agriculture
Cultural Implication of Participating in USDA Programs
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The common relevant theme for participation in USDA programs
appears to be based on relationships between the tribal
entity/individual producer and the USDA office, and whether
there is a representative for the Indian producer to bridge the gap
of program understanding (such as a tribal liaison).
In some areas, USDA offices have made substantial effort in the
past to connect American Indians to programs.
In general, there appears to be a need for better understanding of
the full array of USDA services that may be applied in Indian
country.
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The Great Plains Tribes have a huge land base on
which they primarily raise livestock such as cattle and
buffalo with a few sheep, goats and pigs.
To say these producers rely on USDA and the
programs available would be an under-statement with
many production years being devastating without the
aid and programs of the USDA.
An additional barrier these producers encounter are
the requirements of record-keeping to participate in
USDA programs. It will take significant effort by both
USDA personnel as well as the Great Plains Tribal
Producers, who historically have an oral tradition of
information gathering and recording, to over-come this
barrier.
Focus Group Research
Focus Group Method
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It is an efficient technique to collect a substantial
amount of data in a relatively short period of time.
Focus group discussions have a tendency to draw
detail from participants they might not think to share
in other information gathering approaches.
There are several types of questions needed including
opening, introductory, transition, key, and summary
questions
A pilot focus group session was conducted at the First
Tribal Land National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada
on April 19, 2011with 24 participants
Table 1. Focus group session schedule and participation in 2011.
Date
State
Reservation
N
Women (N)
5/12
Idaho
Fort Hall
11
4
5/13
Idaho
Duck Valley
8
1
5/26
Nevada
Pyramid Lake
10
3
6/2
Washington
Colville
8
3
6/6
South Dakota Rosebud
4
1
6/7
South Dakota Cheyenne River
5
2
6/9
Nevada
Fallon/Walker River
3
0
6/21
Oregon
Warm Springs
11
4
6/21
Oregon
Umatilla
5
4
6/22
Washington
Yakima
10
4
_________________________________________________________
Total
75
26
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Table 2. Frequencies of responses to the 1st focus group question:
When you hear the words United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA), what comes to mind?
44%
15%
13%
13%
9%
9%
Agriculture
Negative aspect of USDA
Agencies
Services/Activities
Programs
Other
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Table 3. Frequencies of responses to the 2nd focus group
question: What USDA programs have you used or
experienced?
68%
7%
7%
5%
5%
4%
4%
Agriculture
Youth related
Community development
None
Housing
Commodities
Miscellaneous
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Table 4. Frequencies of responses to the 3rd focus group
question: What problems have you had in using and/or
what prevents you from using USDA programs?
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23%
22%
16%
10%
9%
7%
6%
4%
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3%
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Time, paperwork, red tape
Qualifying
Lack of information/outreach
Does not meet or not tailored to needs
Frustration, bad feelings, distrust
USDA employees
Internal tribal challenges
Lack of USDA presence
None, no experience
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Table 5. Frequencies of responses to the 4th focus
group question: What effects have USDA programs
had on you or your tribe?
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26%
18%
15%
12%
11%
7%
4%
4%
3%
Positive – improve environment/natural resources
Positive – improve agriculture operations/productivity
Negative – larger farms benefit more, discrimination
Negative – create more problems than benefits
Positive – monetary/credit assistance
Positive – community development assistance
Positive – improve learning
Positive – benefit or target youth
Positive – enable land expansion
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Table 6. Frequencies of responses to the 5th
focus group question: What type(s) of USDA
assistance do you need to become a more
successful agricultural producer?
36%
17%
17%
15%
13%
2%
Education, technical assistance
Personal assistance, one-on-one
Capital for equipment and operation
Get youth involved in agriculture
Better information, more flexibility
Assistance in qualifying
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Table 7. Frequencies of responses to the 6th focus
group question: What can USDA do better to serve
you and your tribe?
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37%
36%
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18%
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4%
3%
2%
Understand tribal needs and work differently
Improve communication/outreach about
programs and services
Provide personal one-on-one outreach and
assistance
Staff a local office
Increase youth programming
Provide materials
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Table 8. Frequencies of responses to the 7th focus group
question: What could you do differently to improve
your success with USDA programs?
36%
31%
13%
8%
6%
4%
2%
Educate tribal members
Educate self
Build relationships and improve
communications with USDA
Educate USDA
Conduct youth programs
Hire liaison, create office
Let tribal voice be heard
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To a large extent, focus group respondents expressed
pessimism in their prospect of using USDA programs.
Comments have been
1.
2.
3.
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To difficult to qualify
USDA programs not tailored to American Indian agriculture needs
Lack of one-on-one personal assistance by USDA
The expectations one perceives from others and the
expectations one has of self has been shown to be key
determinants of performance. This is a phenomenon
known as the Pygmalion effect, and also regarded as a
special case of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Self-efficacy
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Where individuals are mentored with low
expectation for success, performance is decreased.
And when individuals have low self-efficacy,
success is less likely. Self-efficacy is an individual’s
belief in their ability to perform successfully.
Could it be that USDA programs are not utilized
more successfully because USDA professionals
have low expectations of American Indian ability –
or American Indians have low expectations for
USDA professionals? Or could it be that American
Indians themselves have low expectations of their
own ability to be successful with USDA programs?
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If the answer is true to the questions above,
there might not be an easy solution.
Once expectation opinions are formed, they are
difficult to change.
When new personnel are put in place with
USDA or tribal offices, this is an opportunity to
genuinely convey high expectations for
success.
American Indians can improve the way they
think about USDA programs and the impact
they can have on agriculture and natural
resources.
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There is room in the 2012 Agriculture Census
to explore the number of American Indian
Women agriculture producers .
There are several tribes that are matriarchal in
the United States…do we then assume women
producers?
Are the number of American Indian women
producers increasing and are they accessing
USDA programs?
What about self-efficacy and women involved
in agriculture….

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