WASHINGTON – The Native CDFI Network (NCN) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) to provide agriculture credit services and technical assistance for NCN member community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
NCN Executive Director Jackson Brossy said, “We at the Native CDFI Network are excited about this new partnership. The IAC has built a solid organization in its expertise and intimate knowledge of the agricultural community needs in Indian Country. With this new partnership, we see a new wave of agribusiness growth and the advancement of food sovereignty for Native people and NCN members.”
Founded in 1987, the IAC promotes the conservation, development, and use of its agricultural resources to better Native people. IAC Executive Director Zach Ducheneaux said, “An essential component in our mission to promote the conservation, development, and use of our resources, is access to the capital needed to secure assets for production. Since our formation in 1987, accessing that capital in a meaningful and fair manner has been one of the largest obstacles to overcome. Native CDFIs provide a pathway to solving that and we’re pleased to work with NCN and their members to share our transformative observations.”
Since 1987, the IAC has grown to prominence in Indian Country and federal government agencies and the agricultural field. It works on behalf of individual Indian producers and Tribal enterprises. The IAC has, over the last three decades, become recognized as the most respected voice within the Indian community and government circles on agricultural policies and programs in Indian Country.
“The average age of farmers and ranchers in the United States is 57 and rising, farm debt is increasing by four percent per year, and farm suicides are at an all-time high,” Ducheneaux said. “IAC recognizes that major changes are needed to ensure the continuation and growth of Native agriculture. By partnering with the Native CDFI Network, we hope to set clients up for success and shift the paradigm from lending and borrowing, to investment and return.”
This new partnership is made possible by the Arkansas-based Native American Agriculture Fund. NAAF provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers. nativeamericanagriculturefund.org
The Native CDFI Network is a membership organization formed in 2009 to unify Native CDFIs serving American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. NCN's mission is to be a national voice and advocate that strengthens and promotes Native CDFIs, creating access to capital and resources for Native peoples. In support of this mission, the Native CDFI Network seeks to create opportunities to share our stories, identify our collective priorities, and strengthen our industry. In addition, the NCN works to ensure Native peoples are represented in national policy dialogues and that innovative solutions created by CDFIs are spread throughout our Native communities.