Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) and the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) have partnered to gather critical input from Native American U.S. military veterans working in the agricultural industry. The survey is open for responses through March 7 and can be completed online.
The goal of the partnership is to generate responses to NAAF’s veteran survey and the feedback will be incorporated into their long-term vision for providing an infrastructure framework to harness Indian Country’s economic and nutritional potential to recover from COVID-19, which is outlined in their white paper, ‘Reimagining Native Food Economies.
“Native Americans serve in the U.S. Armed Forces at one of the highest rates compared to other ethnicities and often the obligation to serve is steeped in ones’ traditional connections to our land,” said Toni Stanger-McLaughlin, J.D., (Colville), CEO of the NAAF. “When our Native veterans return, we want them to find healing and opportunity in the land. That is why the Native American Agriculture Fund is committed to assisting Native American veterans and our first step in assistance is this survey.”
The questionnaire aims to understand how Native veterans are involved in food production and agriculture; the financial, business, and technical needs of Native veterans and Native food entrepreneurs; and how to connect Native veteran farmers, ranchers, fishers, and growers more seamlessly with NAAF grantees to realize the vision and mission of NAAF.
“The Native American Agriculture Fund’s plan to develop 10 regional food hubs throughout the country will provide Native farmers and ranchers with the necessary infrastructure to create thriving and self-sustaining food systems for both Native and rural communities,” said FVC Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo. “As the nation’s largest nonprofit assisting military veterans embark on careers in agriculture, Farmer Veteran Coalition is the perfect fit to partner with the NAAF on this important project.”
American Indian or Alaska Natives who are veterans or currently serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to complete the survey. The first 200 Native farmer veterans to complete the survey will receive a limited edition co-branded FVC/NAAF challenge coin.
To learn more about the Native American Agriculture Fund and to read their whitepaper, visit the Native American Agriculture Fund website.