At the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), we invest in sustainable economic futures rooted in our connections to land, families, and traditions. Native food producers, culture bearers, and land stewards are at the heart of what we do to ensure the health and well-being of our communities.
IAC has been empowering Native agricultural producers across our nation for almost four decades, working to revitalize food economies in Indian Country with market and export expansion opportunities through the American Indian Foods (AIF) program. As part of the AIF program, Native producers can apply for the Made/Produced by American Indians trademark created to protect the authenticity of Native products while increasing the visibility of Native food products. An example of our work in this program is Bidii Baby Foods.
Bidii Baby Foods, an agricultural cooperative registered with the Navajo Nation, is an AIF member and trademark holder that has experienced firsthand the challenges and opportunities that come with being a Native producer. Inspired by the birth of their son, Zach and Mary Ben developed one of the first traditional baby food lines with a mission to reconnect Native people with traditional foods—starting with nutritious first foods for children from prenatal to five years old.
In addition to market access opportunities with the AIF program, Bidii Baby Food’s Zach Ben recently joined IAC and the Native Farm Bill Coalition in Washington, DC, to participate in the first Native Food Fair and to advocate for the inclusion of Indian Country priorities in the 2023 Farm Bill, up for renewal in September 2023. The event brought Native producers from across the country to meet with legislators, giving them a seat at the table to influence policy change by sharing their experiences and challenges for the benefit of their communities.
“Our passion for the work we do goes beyond representing the Navajo Nation as agricultural producers. We aim to learn about sustainability and build our own ecosystem as small business owners [...] By representing our interests to American leaders, engaging with representatives from the House and Senate, and understanding agricultural policies, we can advocate for our company, our family, and the producers on the reservation who lack representation.”
Will you consider making a gift in support of Native farmers like Zach today? Your support immediately impacts our ability to advance the work of Native producers who positively contribute to their communities nationwide.
IAC’s vision for the future is committed to seeing beyond what we need right now to ensure the health and prosperity of future generations. We are dedicated to supporting the efforts of American Indian and Alaska Native producers through its programs, but we can’t do this work alone. With support from people like you, we can help more Native people working in the field of agriculture across the country.
Dollar for dollar, your donation doubles in impact up to $5,000. Thanks to John Deere for providing this match. Please consider making a donation to our summer campaign!