Vilsack appoints 6 new members, re-appoints 5
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of six new members and the re-appointment of five members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching for a period of two years.
As a discretionary advisory committee, the council provides recommendations to the Agriculture secretary on changes to USDA regulations and other measures that would eliminate barriers to program participation for Native American farmers and ranchers.
The council will Thursday and Friday this week at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.
“The Council for Native American Farming and Ranching strengthens our partnerships with tribal governments, businesses, farmers, and ranchers,” Vilsack said. “Their work encourages participation of new and historically underserved agricultural producers in USDA programs, and reflects a strong intergovernmental relationship built upon shared values and inclusion.”
“With the addition of a representative from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), council membership is changing to better reflect the diversity of resources provided by the USDA,” the department said in a news release.
The council consists of 15 members, including four USDA officials and 11 Native American leaders and representatives. The appointees may include Native American (American Indian and Alaska Native) farmers or ranchers; representatives of nonprofit organizations that work with Native farmers and ranchers; civil rights professionals; educators; tribal elected leaders; senior USDA officials; and other persons the Secretary deems appropriate.
Council for Native American Farming and Ranching appointees
*Denotes those reappointed
▪ Angela Peter, executive director, Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance, (Native Village of Tyonek), Tyonek, Alaska*
▪ Erin Shirl, assistant director for the Indigenous Food & Ag Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
▪ Gilbert Louis III, firefighter and farmer / Rancher, (Acoma Pueblo), Grants, N.M.
▪ Jerry McPeak, farmer / rancher and former state legislator, (Muscogee Creek), Warner, Okla.*
▪ Mark Wadsworth, range conservationist for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, (Shoshone-Bannock), Fort Hall, Idaho*
▪ Maggie Goode, probation officer and farmer / rancher, (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes), Hot Springs, Mont.
▪ Roselynn Yazzie, crop manager, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, (Navajo Nation), Farmington, N.M.
▪ Sarah Vogel, civil rights attorney and former agriculture commissioner for North Dakota, Bismarck, N.D.*
▪ Sherry Crutcher, rancher and director of natural resources for the Shoshone Paiute Tribe, (Shoshone-Paiute Tribe), Owyhee, Nev.
▪ Shannon McDaniel, farmer / rancher and executive director of Agriculture for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Durant, Okla.
▪ Tawney Brunsch, executive director of Lakota Funds, (Oglala Sioux), Kyle, S.D.*
USDA officials appointed to council
Four USDA officials were also appointed to serve ex officio on the council, although a USDA spokeswoman said they will be succeeded by officials in the Trump administration when they take office.
▪ Jason Weller, chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service
▪ Val Dolcini, administrator, Farm Service Agency
▪ Joe Leonard, assistant secretary for civil rights
▪ Leslie Wheelock (Oneida), Director, Office of Tribal Relations
–The Hagstrom Report
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