The Native American Agriculture Fund, a charitable trust, tours Gila River Farms
Gila River Indian News
On Monday, April 22 visitors from the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) toured of the Gila River Farms for an inside look at operations.
The Native American Agriculture Fund provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers. NAAF is the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American ranching and farming community.
The charitable trust was created by the settlement of the landmark Keepseagle v. Vilsack class-action lawsuit with $266 million in funding that in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement, must be distributed funds within a 20-year period.
Participants, which included a NAAF trustee, NAAF staff members and a few Keepseagle Fast Track Grantees, learned about the Community’s long tradition of cultivating the land with limited water resources, holistic approach to commercial farm management, and successful ventures into specialty crop production.
Gila River Farm staff and Community leadership shared the vision for tying together cultural heritage and economic development through agricultural production. Farm operators gave an overview of the challenges and opportunities associated with a large-scale operation.