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Food/Agriculture

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to form an Equity Commission and deploy $25 million in programs targeting “underserved” communities. 

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Nebraska Indian Community College plans to train drone operators so that farmers and ranchers can get a bird’s-eye view of their operations. 

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WASHINGTON — When Natives get hired for positions in Washington, D.C., it’s usually at the Departments of the Interior or Health and Human Services, where the Indian Health Service is housed. But when tapped to join the Biden administration, Heather Dawn Thompson didn’t want to toil in the usual places.

Janie Simms Hipp
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WASHINGTON — As the first Native American woman confirmed to the role of general counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Janie Simms Hipp returns to the agency at a critical time for Native farmers and ranchers. 

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WASHINGTON — Staring down a potential lengthy legal delay in receiving pandemic-related loan forgiveness from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Native American farmers are calling on Congress to modify the program. 

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Native American Agriculture Fund named veteran Native agriculture advocate Toni Stanger-McLaughlin as its new top executive following the departure of founding CEO Janie Simms Hipp for a role in the Biden administration. 

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The Native American Agriculture Fund has awarded $1 million in grants to 20 organizations supporting Native youth. 

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Federal debt relief for minority farmers — including Native producers — has been brought to a halt by a temporary restraining order issued by a federal court in Wisconsin.

Zach Ducheneaux
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On May 27, the day that Chickasaw Nation citizen Janie Simms Hipp had a speedy confirmation hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee as her nomination to become General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture proceeded, the agency’s new Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux was looking forward to equitable days to come.

bison
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A group of 13 female bison joined a 500-strong herd on the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes’ reservation in Western Oklahoma in early April, thanks to efforts by the city of Denver, Colo. to avoid auctioning off surplus animals.