BFRDP Projects

Healthy Food, Healthy Communities: A Collaborative Approach To Producer Education on Native American Reservations
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $659,621
Grant Program: 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Jason Schoch
Organization: SDSU Extension West River Ag Center


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The goal of this grant was to address food sovereignty (and security) for three South Dakota Reservations, through increased producer capacity in production and marketing, enhanced access to/utilization of local produced foods by individuals and organizations on the 3 targeted reservations. Initially written as 60 individuals trained in consumer horticulture 30 individuals trained in ranch management/livestock systems and 180 individuals trained as "new beginners." Although the original project director and program manager primarily focused on beef cattle livestock in year one, the current project director and his team adjusted the program to include smaller acreage systems (both livestock and horticulture) to reflect the fractionated land access realities on the ground for 98% plus of tribal populations on these reservations. The end result is as follows:

2015: just 18 participants looking to become producers or start farming or improve their success were involved in the program (11 in livestock and 8 in commercial horticulture) across all three reservations.
2016: increased to 49 (through the transition towards a small acreage agricultural systems to replace "commercial horticulture."
2017: increased to 503. (218 in BFR small acreages and/or Introduction to Bison; 151 in home growing (gardening); another 63 in BFR stakeholder meetings and public events, and 47 youth participated. Additionally 24 non-native adults participated in our small acreages program. The math alone tells the story. The corrections we made to the program in 2016 set the stage for a fully functioning BFR program in 2017.

Helped to Prepare to Start Farming: 863 tribal individuals (home growing/gardening)

Started Farming: 403 (small acreages ag system participants plus commercial horticulture and large livestock/ranching participants who had never farmed or were just getting started).

Improved Farming Succcess: 16 (participants who had been a producer for more than 3 years before the program began).

Total: 1,282


Number of Participants: 1282


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success