The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) wants to thank everyone who took the time to answer surveys during these trying times when Tribal agricultural producers and communities are struggling with the COVID crisis. The survey efforts are an extension of IAC’s leadership in the Native Farm Bill Coalition whose advocacy led to a record number of Tribal provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“During the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our network of dedicated IAC staff members began to hear rumblings of disruptions in our Tribal Ag economies,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Executive Director of IAC. “Well aware of the weaknesses of our food economies and in the interest of better serving our membership and clients, we sought more information from our constituents, to gain a better understanding of exactly where those weak links in our system were breaking.”
“We would like to express our gratitude to our frontline workers who are trying to improve our economies by feeding our people,” Ducheneaux adamantly said. “We’ve spent the last few weeks conducting a preliminary compilation of the data received thus far, and are working with partners to conduct several more detailed analyses.”
Some of the preliminary highlights of the data include:
85 percent of producers stated that financing and funding ranked Number 1 on their list for requested support and resources
86 percent of respondents have been negatively affected by COVID-19
52 percent of producers estimate losses of at least $10,000
79 percent of Tribal/Community leaders reported a “Production to Processing” Gap
25 percent are young and emerging producers in their area
96 percent of schools have shifted to remote learning and 70 percent said broadband resources were not sufficient for online studies.
We also need to continually reiterate the importance of Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) for meeting these needs and drive home the point that an agricultural producer is, in fact, a business owner.
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