First Nations’ Native Agriculture & Food Systems Scholarship

At First Nations Development Institute, we believe that reclaiming control over local food systems is an important step toward ensuring the long-lasting health and economic well-being of Native people and communities.  Native food-system control has the potential to increase food production, improve health and nutrition, and eliminate food insecurity in rural and reservation-based communities, while also promoting entrepreneurship and economic development.

Many farmers, ranchers, herders, and others are retiring without qualified replacements trained to take their place. According to the USDA, the number of farmers and ranchers nearing retirement age has grown by 22 percent in the past five years, while the number of young farmers and ranchers adequately trained to replace them has decreased by 14 percent. The lack of qualified replacements in these industries could have potentially dangerous effects on efforts to reclaim control of local Native food systems.

The purpose of the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program is to encourage more Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian college students to enter agriculture and agriculture-related fields so they can better assist their communities with efforts to reclaim local food systems control. To apply for the scholarship program, applicants must:

  • Be full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in an agricultural-related field, or be able to demonstrate how their degree program relates to Native food systems
  • Be tribally-affiliated and able to provide documentation
  • Have at least a 2.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate a commitment to helping their community reclaim local food-system control

2020 deadlines

The scholarship is designed for students going to schools throughout the United States. The application for the 2020 grant cycle must be submitted by 5 pm (Mountain Daylight) Thursday, October 15, 2020. Please allow enough time to complete the online form, including uploading the recommendation letter and other materials. Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Additional documentation may be required upon award.

Apply online below and be ready to include the following materials:

Scholarship Application Checklist

Proof of tribal affiliation (e.g., enrollment card, CIB, letter from tribe, OHA registry)
College enrollment verification form
Unofficial transcript
Letter of recommendation from faculty member
Headshot for possible use in First Nations’ publicity activities (optional)


Please contact Abi Whiteing ( or Kendall Tallmadge ( via email or by phone at (303) 774-7836.

To Begin a New Application, Click Here


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