Native Farm Bill Coalition
The Farm Bill is one of the single largest pieces of domestic legislation in the United States. Enacted by Congress approximately every five years, it addresses everything from nutrition programs, agricultural policies, and food production to natural resource conservation, rural development, and insurance programs.
Why is the Native Farm Bill Coalition needed? Indian Country has been largely relegated to the margins of Farm Bill discussions for decades – which means that Native Americans and tribes are missing out on major opportunities to protect and advance their interests. The Native Farm Bill Coalition is a new effort to give Native Americans a strong, united voice to advance a common Farm Bill agenda benefiting Indian Country.
It is a joint project of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Seeds of Native Health campaign to improve Native dietary health and food access; the Intertribal Agriculture Council; the National Congress of American Indians; and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative. The Coalition is co-chaired by Keith B. Anderson, Vice-Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and Ross Racine, Executive Director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council.
The Native Farm Bill Coalition is a groundbreaking umbrella organization, formed to advocate for Native American interests in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Indian Country faces some of the worst health disparities of any population group in the nation, and Native communities have the highest rate of reliance on federal feeding programs. Native producers, who represent the key to tribal food sovereignty and self-reliance, face major regulatory and financial obstacles. It is crucial for all of Indian Country and its allies to be at the table and help shape the future of the Farm Bill – tribes, intertribal groups, Native organizations serving urban and rural populations alike, and others.