BFRDP Projects

Business Development with Native American Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in Arizona
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $297,506
Grant Program: 2017 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Jackie Francke
Organization: First Nations Development Institute


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

In Year 2, activities included 5 workshops and trainings that were conducted by First Nations and/or the three livestock associations. In Year 2, 117 producers attended and/or received technical assistance to advance their knowledge on conservation, ranching, marketing, processing, and much more.

In Year 1, the livestock associations were slow to report as a result in Year 1, 8 trainings were not reported they are summarized in the impact report.
In summary, the project proved to impact the advancement of the three livestock association and their capacity to manage their nonprofits. With technical assistance they increased their knowledge on grants management, nonprofit management, community outreach and engagement, and financial management.

The project also enabled the 3 livestock association to expand their outreach to Native American producers and explore potential new partnerships. As a result of their outreach, ND14R Ranch established a new market for cattle that did not meet the criteria to be deemed source-verified beef. Rather than taking the cattle to a sale barn they discovered a new market that has enabled them to receive higher sales that they would not otherwise receive at the sale barn. They also established a new partnership in the Navajo Agriculture Products Industry (NAPI) to finish off short sale calves to increase their weight and quality.

In addition, as a result of research conducted under the project, Point of Pines Cattle Association increased their cattle sales. In 2017, upon initiation of the grant project, the livestock associations were surveyed to identify the status of their organization, cattle herd, sales, and producers they serve. When surveyed in 2017, Point of Pines Cattle Association indicated that they were receiving $0.88/lb on their cattle sales. In 2019, at the conclusion of the project and through market research their cattle were selling for $1.25/lb.

Unlike private land owners, Native American producers manage their farms and ranches on trust lands. To do so, many are required to obtain a grazing and/or land use permit from the BIA if the permit was passed down to them by parents and/or grandparents. As such, livestock associations provide a means for Native American producers to continue ranching in some instances without a grazing permit because the land has been allocated for the association.  The associations serve in a quasi-cooperative capacity, managing all the producers’ cattle collectively, coordinating cattle sales, and maintaining herd health. While First Nations indicated that ranching startups was not applicable, five agribusinesses were initiated, with four of the businesses engaged in ND14R Ranch.

At time of final project reporting, First Nations learned that the executive director, Colleen Tessey of the Grasshopper Livestock Association was recognized with a Governor’s award for her contribution to Arizona agriculture and her work with the Grasshopper Livestock Association. She will be recognized at the 5th Annual Arizona Ag Roundtable on December 2, 2019 which will be attended by the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.

Number of Participants: 250


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