Council for Native American Farming and Ranching
"Guiding the Way for Native Agriculture"
The United States Department of Agriculture's Council for Native American Farming and Ranching (CNAFR) was created to advise the Secretary on ways to eliminate barriers to participation for Native American Farmers and Ranchers in USDA programs. The Council was established as part of the Keepseagle settlement and is pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2.
The Council will be conducted under the oversight of USDA's Office of Tribal Relations, which is part of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. The Director of Tribal Relations serves as Designated Federal Official (DFO) for the Council. Responsibilities and conduct of the Council are defined in CNAFR's Charter (PDF, 107KB) and Council By-Laws (PDF, 142KB).
The CNAFR is composed of representatives with specific knowledge of Native American farming and ranching. All 565 Federally recognized Tribes (number at the time of the request) were notified of requests for nomination as published in the Federal Register, as were all known intertribal organizations, non-profits, and community based organizations.
By terms of the agreement, the Council consists of fifteen (15) members (PDF, 221KB) appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Appointments include eleven (11) representatives of Native American farmers and ranchers. These individuals have demonstrated ability and a diverse range of experience in different types of agriculture. In addition to the eleven (11), four (4) USDA representatives were appointed from the following groups: The Farm Service Agency Administrator, or his or her delegate; the Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Tribal Relations, or his or her delegate; the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, or his or her delegate, and the Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs or his or her delegate.
The role of the CNAFR is to:
- advise the Secretary of Agriculture on issues related to the participation of Native American farmers and ranchers in USDA programs including farm loan programs;
- transmit recommendations concerning any changes to USDA regulations or internal guidance or other measures that would eliminate barriers to program participation for Native American farmers and ranchers;
- examine methods of maximizing the number of new farming and ranching opportunities created through USDA programs through enhanced extension and financial literacy services;
- examine methods of encouraging intergovernmental cooperation to mitigate the effects of land tenure and probate issues on the delivery of USDA programs;
- evaluate other methods of creating new farming or ranching opportunities for Native American producers; and
- address other related issues as deemed appropriate.
View the federal register notice: Re-Establishment of the Council and Solicitation for Nominations