Arkansas receives funding for Native Youth in Agriculture Summit

Eighty-four students representing 47 tribes attended the summit last year; the program is hoping for 100 in 2016.
Eighty-four students representing 47 tribes attended the summit last year; the program is hoping for 100 in 2016. | Contributed photo

University of Arkansas School of Law's Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative recently received a three-year, $681,459 grant to fund the Native Youth in Agriculture Summer Leadership Summit.

Entering its third year, the summit promotes farming, ranching and food business as productive career choices for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian youth. It accepts applications from youth ages 15-18. Last year, 84 students representing 47 tribes attended the summit. The program is hoping for 100 this year.

“The Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative is a great illustration of how higher education institutions should work everyday to create greater access for underrepresented students while also providing valuable support for the betterment of their communities,” Charles Robinson, University of Arkansas vice chancellor for diversity and community, said. “I am very proud of Dean [Stacy] Leeds and all of the people in our School of Law and campus-wide who are making this happen.”

The summit also promotes intertribal cooperation and an understanding of food sovereignty, which helps secure the future of tribal food systems. It seeks to ensure success for future native farmers and ranchers, providing them with necessary education so they can thrive as the next generation of Indian Country food and agriculture leaders.

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