On January 10 and 11, 2011, USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) visited Anchorage to conduct a consultation with Alaska Tribes on a wide range of subjects.
At the Consultation, OTR staff, and local and national agency officials met with representatives of Alaska’s Tribes for a discussion of programs and rules of four USDA agencies: Rural Development; Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service; Farm Service Agency; and Natural Resource Conservation Service. Through this process, USDA was provided with valuable local insight, comments and recommendations concerning delivery of the Department’s programs to Alaska’s Native people. Much discussion related to the Substantially Underserved Trust Areas (SUTA) provision of the 2008 Farm Bill.
The comments will be shared with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to help improve tribal access to USDA programs. The comments will be provided for consideration prior to the drafting of the 2012 Farm Bill.
“Alaska’s 229 federally recognized tribes and the Alaska Native village and regional corporations are key partners with USDA. This consultation will help us enhance delivery of our various programs” said USDA Rural Development State Director Jim Nordlund.
For more information about USDA’s tribal consultation efforts click here.