Land Grant (Native Agriculture)

Growing Native American Agriculture

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s (AIHEC) Growing Native American Agriculture outreach program is an innovative program that engages Tribal College & Universities (TCU) staff and students to improve Native American farmers, ranchers and community food producers’ adoption of effective agricultural practices.  Collaboration with the AmeriCorps VISTA program builds program capacity by using VISTA volunteers to help create and deliver technical assistance, outreach and education services to Native American agricultural producers, with guidance and technical support from USDA field offices and land grant partners.  TCU staff, VISTAs and students will also assist farmers and ranchers in accessing USDA information and participating in USDA programs and services.

The project provides direct services to Native American farmers, ranchers and community food producers across the U.S.  Agricultural producers are supported in the adoption of improved agribusiness practices through community-wide workshops, one-on-one technical assistance, and referrals to, and support with, accessing available USDA and land grant resources.  Short-term project impacts will include increased knowledge of agricultural best practices and USDA programs and services, increased confidence to implement best practices, increased receptiveness to USDA outreach efforts, and greater intent to implement best practices and use USDA support.  Medium-term impacts will include behavior change such as the actual implementation of best practices and increased participation in USDA programs and services.  Long-term impacts may include new and improved agricultural operations, more sustainable land-use practices, and job creation resulting in sustainable growth for tribal agricultural economies.  The Growing Native American Agriculture outreach program is supported with generous funding from the USDA, the Native American Agriculture Fund, and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Project Director:  John L. Phillips,, 706-310-4199.