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% in the past five years, while the number of young farmers and ranchers adequately trained to replace them has decreased by 14%. The lack of qualified replacements in these industries could have potentially dangerous effects on efforts to reclaim control of local Native food systems.
First Nations’ Native Agriculture & Food Systems Scholarships are designed 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.
The program began in 2014 and for three years was part of the GATHER project, funded with generous support of The Indigenous Peoples Fund at Tides Foundation and The 11th Hour Project of The Schmidt Family Foundation, along with additional organizational funders and individual donors.
Through this project, First Nations awards $1,000 to $1,500 scholarships to Native college students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields.
To apply for Native Agriculture & Food Systems Scholarships, 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 (e.g., enrollment card, CIB, letter from tribe, OHA registry)
- Have a minimum 2.75 GPA
Access the links below to see the list of scholarship recipients each year.
For information on scholarship recipients before 2020, contact First Nations Program Associate A.J. Garcia.