The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is hosting the 2011 Indian Agriculture and Rural Summit April 28-29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks, Nev. The conference will feature a number of educational, youth and cultural programs, and will address many issues facing Native Americans in agriculture. The deadline for registering is April 6.
The conference includes sessions on:
• the Cobell and Keepseagle lawsuits
• direct marketing strategies
• food safety requirements
• farm-to-school programs
• business planning and budgeting
• federal insurance, loan and grant programs.
The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service , the USDA Farm Service Agency, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Indian Programs and the Utah State University Cooperative Extension. Additional funding is being provided by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
"The summit will serve as a means for Indian tribes and individuals to come together, discuss items of common interest, become familiar with risk management strategies, and learn about existing USDA programming focused on specific changes that have made these USDA programs more attractive," said Randy Emm, Indian reservation program coordinator for Cooperative Extension.
Emm said participants can learn about a wide range of USDA programs, from lending opportunities through FSA, the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and alternative energy programs through the USDA Rural Development program.
"Our goal is to provide an opportunity for Indian tribes and the Indian people in Nevada to utilize each and every available tool to sustain agriculture on the various reservations, providing for a better way of life," Emm said. "The youth and cultural segment will provide interesting activities and items that show a brief view of what Nevada Indian culture was like in a historical setting."
A free pre-conference workshop titled "Nevada People of the Land: Sustaining American Indian Agriculture in Nevada" will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 27 at the Nugget. The People of the Land workshop is designed to educate participants on Native American society as well as agricultural issues facing today's Native Americans in the West. The seminar will address federal Indian policies, land tenure types on reservations, irrigation and water rights issues on reservation land, and tactics on implementing agricultural and natural resource programs in Native American society.
Registration for "People of the Land" is limited to 60 people. To register, call Patti Click at (775) 945-3444 ext. 13 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mail summit registrations to: Julie Bradt, UNCE, 5305 Mill Street, Reno, NV 89502 along with a registration fee of $75 per person before the deadline of April 6. Registration fees will include conference materials, breaks and lunch both days. Please make checks or money orders payable to the Board of Regents. Hotel reservations must be made directly with the Nugget at 800-648-1177. Ask for Room Code GNVIA to receive the discounted rate of $49/night plus 13.5 percent tax.
Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance can call Patti Click at 775-945-3444 ext. 13 or e-mail at email@example.com at least three days prior to conference.