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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Native American Agriculture Fund has begun requesting applications for its 2022 round of grantmaking. 

The grantmaking organization seeks proposals for $12 million in funding. Eligible applicants include 501(c)(3) organizations, educational organizations, community development financial institutions, and state and federally recognized tribes. 

The funding stems from 1998’s Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action case, which established NAAF using the remaining funds from a settlement that found the U.S. Department of Agriculture discriminated against Native farmers and ranchers in its loan programs. 

Potential project focuses include business assistance, agricultural education and technical support. NAAF’s website lists infrastructure, land acquisition and climate resilience as special focuses this year, mirroring many of last year’s priorities

“Having fair and adequate access to capital is crucial for the success of agriculture operations. At NAAF, we are investing in the future of Native agricultural economies, a potential $45.4 billion industry,” NAAF CEO Toni Stanger-McLaughlin said in a statement. “Our communities are building regional networks of infrastructure, leading in areas of regenerative agriculture, and answering the call to feed our people and secure food access amidst an ongoing global pandemic. We continue to strive to adapt our funding cycles to meet the needs and changing landscape of Indian Country agriculture.” 

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This marks the fourth year of grantmaking for the organization. Last year, NAAF issued $14 million in grants to 54 organizations across the United States, enabling projects ranging from educational programs to direct loans to producers. So far, NAAF has distributed $74 million total.

“From our young and beginning farmers and ranchers to tribal agriculture enterprises, and everything in between, the impact of our grantees continues to transform food economies and agricultural production to develop thriving communities throughout Indian Country,” NAAF Board Chairman Dr. Joe Hiller said in a statement.

Applications must be submitted by June 1, 2022. More information on grant criteria and how to apply can be found here.

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About The Author
Chez Oxendine
Staff Writer
Chez Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) is a staff writer for Tribal Business News focusing on Native entrepreneurship, small business development, and the gaming industry. Based in Tulsa, Okla., Oxendine was previously a contributing writer for Native News Online, and his journalism has been featured in the Fort Gibson Times, Muskogee Phoenix, Baconian Magazine, Source Magazine and Oklahoma Magazine, among others.
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