Spring Alaska of Sakari Farms is one example of what Resiliency through Agriculture is all about. When more Indigenous agriculture producers take these steps and explore the good risks of agriculture, they will be revitalizing the trade routes of their beloved ancestors too!
This is Part II of the podcast interview between Spring and Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) Technical Assistance Specialists (TAs) – Electa Hare-Redcorn and Mike Shellenberger.
You will not want to miss this conversation that is a deeper dive into how the IAC network serves as a vital portion of the “national community” that Spring said is critical when delving into ag dreams! Here is a snapshot of the topics covered:
“Keep making big steps and growing,” Spring said enthusiastically.
Today, Spring, her husband and daughter, operate a seed bank (among many other endeavors) where they grow 139 Tribal foods by taking gifted Tribal seed, nurturing it, and sending it back to Indigenous producers everywhere. Spring takes wise usage of the entire plant very seriously – from food to medicinal applications and she hangs her hat on food education.
In this podcast you will hear discussions around the importance of applying for a Farm Service Agency (FSA) number when seeking to be in federal and state programs and applying for grants. You will gain honest insight into the federal and state paperwork necessary and some of Spring’s first-hand experience securing farm loans.
“What’s really important is to have a business plan,” she pointed out, noting it’s important to plan ahead or have some type of outline for loan managers and others to be able to see your successes, achievements and education level. “They want to know that you can follow through with your concept or plan.”
When it comes to paperwork, Spring said that’s where IAC TAs are a great resource for farmers and ranchers to reach out to and, she noted, that it is very important to, “Be organized!”
From a natural resource conservation perspective, Spring learned that every inch of her property could be profitable. She strives daily to find ways to enhance her efforts and continues to look ahead at refining and building more infrastructure.
“We purchased the farm about two to three years ago. It had irrigation, a pond, pumps . . . We needed a financial boost to acquire some infrastructure,” she explained.
That is when they took out funds to get equipment such as a new tractor and drying racks. Spring said starting with new equipment saved some early disasters and helped get the farm up and running in a healthy and sustainable way.
Overall, she continues to look ahead and work hard, “It has been a great experience.”
The Intertribal Agriculture Council is very proud Sakari Farms/Sakari Botanicals holds its Made/Produced by American Indian Patent Certification.
Listen to Part 2 of the Resiliency through Agriculture podcast with Sakari Farms by clicking: http://bit.ly/PartIISakariFarms
Follow the IAC American Indian Foods program at: www.facebook.com/AmericanIndianFoods
Follow Sakari Farms at: www.facebook.com/Sakari-Farms-224485035156593