Current Projects

Native Farmer and Rancher Apprenticeship Network


First Nations’ Native Farmer and Rancher Apprenticeship Network was launched in fall 2021 to provide training and Technical Assistance (TA) as well as networking opportunities to a cohort of 29 select Native American Beginning Farmer and Ranchers (BFRs). The purpose of this apprenticeship is to support Native BFRs to build their business capacity and agricultural management of their operations to increase local production of and community access to food, conservation plan development, business plan development, marketing/branding, Native agricultural traditions, and natural resources management.

Apprenticeship support is made possible through funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture.

Through the 30-month apprenticeship, which runs February 1, 2022, to July 31, 2024, the following individuals will receive a stipend, as well as individualized technical assistance to deepen their work:

  • Aaron Warren, Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Alexandera Houchin, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
  • Amber Zapata, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
  • Beulah Blackrock, Navajo Nation
  • Bryan Chavez, Kewa Pueblo
  • Carnell Chosa, Pueblo of Jemez
  • Christina White, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
  • Dana Eldridge, Navajo Nation
  • David Cepeda, Mescalero Apache
  • David Wise, Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Direct Descendant
  • Diana Wilson, San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation
  • EdMiles Harvey, Navajo Nation
  • Erin Thomas, Navajo Nation
  • Gerard White, Navajo Nation
  • Jarom Prows, Navajo Nation
  • Jennifer Falck, Oneida Nation
  • Jerilyn Graves, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
  • Jonathan Romero, Pueblo of Jemez
  • Kira Loretto, Pueblo of Jemez
  • Lisa Brunner, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
  • Manuela Maldonado, Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Matthew Gachupin, Pueblo of Jemez
  • Melanie Stacey, Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin
  • Michael Fox Gachupin, Pueblo of Jemez
  • Micheal Montoya, Navajo Nation
  • Regina Bitloy, Navajo Nation
  • Roberto Nutlouis, Navajo Nation
  • Tiarra Little, Oglala Lakota
  • Tierra Blacksheep, Navajo Nation
  • Trey Blackhawk, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Network members will also receive training through First Nations’ The Business of Indian Agriculture curriculum designed to help farmers and ranchers succeed in managing their businesses. It covers useful topics like how to develop a business plan, how to set up bookkeeping systems, and marketing. It also covers important topics like risk management, personal financial management, and using credit wisely.

Conservation Planning Guide for Native American Ranchers

Trainings for the Native Farmer and Rancher Apprenticeship Network were based on First Nations' Conservation Planning Guide, a resource designed to assist Native American ranchers in the development of conservation plans that address natural resource concerns while increasing opportunities to participate in USDA programs like USDA-EQIP.

Download the Conservation Planning Guide