WHO WE ARE

NATIONAL STAFF

Zach Ducheneaux

Executive Director

Kari Jo Lawrence

Director of Programs

Micaela Young

Development Director

Sha'Teal Pearman

Natural Resources Assistant

Kelsey Ducheneaux

Natural Resource Director

Azelya Yazzie

Leadership Development Specialist

Kerry Hoffschneider

Communications, Marketing and Events Specialist

Latashia Redhouse

AIF Director

Tomie Peterson

AIF Assistant Director

Donita Fischer

Director of Finance & Operations

Becky Standing Bear

Office Manager

Colby Duren

Director of Policy and Government Relations 

Intertribal Agriculture Council

Lilly Standing Bear

Administrative Assistant

TA Network

Dan Cornelius

Technical Assistance Specialist
Midwest-Great Lakes Region

Desbah Padilla

Technical Assistance Specialist

Southwest Region

Katherine Minthorn

Technical Assistance Specialist

Northwest Region - Oregon & Idaho

Keir Johnson-Reyes

National Technical Assistance Lead/Technical Assistance Specialist

Pacific Region

Kole Fitzpatrick

Technical Assistance Specialist

Rocky Mountain Region

Silas Tikaan Galbreath

Technical Assistance Specialist

Alaska Region

Vacant

Technical Assistance Specialist

Great Plains Region

Mike Shellenberger

Technical Assistance Specialist

Northwest Region (Washington)

Steven Bond

Technical Assistance Specialist

Southern Plains Region

Eastern Oklahoma Region

Matthew Denetclaw

Technical Assistance

Specialist

Navajo Region

Padgley Gonzales

Technical Assistance Specialist

Western Region

 

Zach Ducheneaux

Executive Director

Zach Ducheneaux is part of the third generation to operate the family ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in north central South Dakota. He and his brothers are now raising the fourth generation on the same ranch. A former tribal council representative for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe—also among the third generation to have done so. He has been with the IAC since the 1990's; first as a Farm Advocate, then as a Tribal Delegate, and Secretary of the Board, the Technical Assistance Program Director and now serves as the incoming Executive Director. Zach@indianag.org

Kari Jo Lawrence

Director of Programs

Kari Jo Lawrence was ranch raised on the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation in North Dakota near the New Town and Mandaree areas.  She attended Dickinson State University where she earned a degree in Biology.  Kari Jo is proud to have been one of the first recipients of the IAC Scholarship. She started a career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service while in college and served over 20 years with most of it serving in Indian Country.  She led successful programs and increased historically underserved participation in each capacity served. As Director of Programs she looks forward to continuing her service to Indian Country at a national level. Kari@indianag.org

Micaela Young

Development Director

Ms. Young started her professional career in the Extension Service and went on to work in the private sector as a consultant and project manager on large state and federal grant-funded projects focused on healthy housing, energy use, and energy education. In her role as Senior Project Manager, she and her team provided training and technical assistance to state agencies and technical and community colleges related to project management, grant writing and grant management, and technical training development.

 

From January 2013 to June 2014, she served in the position of Grant Submission Training Coordinator for ADVANCE Project TRACS, a 3.5-million-dollar institutional transformation grant funded by the National Science Foundation. The Office of Sponsored Programs, a sub-office of the Office of Research and Economic Development at Montana State University, recruited her in June 2014 to work with faculty on pre-award activities, such as grant proposal development and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Ms. Young has been instrumental in the development and submission of over 800 grant proposals to various federal, state, and private organizations. She earned a Master of Arts in English-Writing at Montana State University and is now a PhD candidate and researcher for the Native American Studies, Native Land Project, focusing on water governance and community responses to unjust historic water allocation and other barriers to agriculture productivity on tribal lands. She splits her time between Bozeman, Mont. and the Blackfeet Nation where she serves as a core member of the Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP) interdisciplinary team, focusing specifically on development activities and water resource planning. Her family owns a cow-calf operation and also produces hay, beans, and wheat in the Snake River Basin in Southern Idaho.  Micaela@indianag.org

Kelsey Ducheneaux

Natural Resource Director

Kelsey Ducheneaux is a fourth generation tribal rancher that calls the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation home. She received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Rangeland Management from South Dakota State University and then her Master’s of Agriculture Degree in Integrated Resource Management from Colorado State University. Kelsey’s passion lies in working directly with land managers and producers in promoting regenerative agricultural practices.  Kelsey@indianag.org

Azelya Yazzie

Leadership Development Specialist

Azelya Yazzie is Navajo and Blackfeet currently residing in San Diego, California. She is pursuing her degree is Sustainable Agriculture at San Diego City Community College. Azelya currently sits on the Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance Board as Co-Vice Chair, representing the Pacific Region. Along with sitting as the Recruitment Committee Chair. Her passion in Native American agriculture involves growing traditional foods and herbs. She was a former NRCS Earth Team Volunteer and an NRCS-IAC Intern. She dedicates her free time to her organization she has started called Feed Our People. Azelya’s main goal is to increase Native youth involvement in agriculture.  Azelya@indianag.org

Kerry Hoffschneider

Communications, Marketing and Events Specialist

Kerry Hoffschneider brings with her a portfolio of two decades of professional communications experience.  A graduate, with honors, from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, Kerry has both global corporate and non-profit experience in a host of areas, especially focusing on agriculture and rural community building.  Kerry has worked with local, state, and national media to outline the diverse and complex story of agriculture and has also trained key thought leaders and other professionals to sharpen their communications skills.

 

Her overall passion is helping farmers, ranchers and all those passionate about the soil and its potential, to communicate their dreams, wisdom, unique experiences, and hope with the next generation.  Kerry is undaunted by the complexities and challenges that arise when communicating in a host of scenarios.  She is driven to clarify messages so the future can be brighter for all people.  Kerry’s vision is clear:  communication is everything and she is excited to help IAC, its members, invaluable partners, and new friends yet to make, share stories that truly help inspire others and make the world a better place. 

 Kerry@indianag.org

Latashia Redhouse

AIF Director

Latashia Redhouse is an enrolled member of the Diné Nation and was raised in southeastern Utah. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Journalism with an emphasis in Corporate Communications at Utah State University. She has spent years supporting organizations with marketing strategies and guidance, and is excited to serve the Native American farmer-entrepreneurs and business owners. Her passion is to inspire Indigenous professionals and offer solutions to help grow their business. 

Latashia@indianag.org

Tomie Peterson 

AIF Assistant Director

Tomie grew up, and currently resides on, a cattle ranch near Parade, SD. Tomie is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is a graduate of Black Hills State University and joins Intertribal Agriculture Council from Dacotah Bank in Mobridge, where she was an Agriculture Banker.

In this setting, She developed a trained eye for Ag Lending and Finance. In her new capacity with the IAC, she advocates on behalf of Tribal producers for fair and equitable financing, functional access to USDA programming, and innovative business structures. Tomie enjoys working in the Ag industry helping producers succeed and looks forward to assisting producers across Indian Country.  Tomie@indianag.org

Donita Fischer

Finance & Operations Director

Donita Fischer serves as the Director of Finance & Operations. She directs the overall financial, accounting and budgeting functions, oversees the organization’s Human Resource processes and supervises the finance and operations staff. Formerly IAC’s Public Relations director, Donita continues to oversee communication and technology services. 

 

Donita was born and raised on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation in north-central South Dakota. She attended Black Hills State University and received a bachelor of science in business administration. Donita resides with her family east of Eagle Butte, South Dakota; where she practices small-scale sustainable efforts.  Donita@indianag.org

Becky Standing Bear

Office Manager

Becky Standing Bear is an enrolled member of the (Gros Ventre) Aaniih Tribe  from the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. She graduated from the Fort Belknap Community College with a certificate in Early Childhood Education and an Associates in Liberal Arts in 1992. She previously worked with the State of Montana serving the reservation schools as a Speech Therapist to students from preschool to high school. Born and raised on the reservation has afforded her basic knowledge of Indian agriculture living among many Tribal ranchers and farmers and observing their operations and way of life. Since moving to Billings, MT in 1999; she has held the position of Office/Administrative Assistant with the IAC. Becky is very happy to be part of the IAC staff and enjoys serving her part in the IAC’s goal of promoting and enhancing Indian agriculture.  Becky@indianag.org

“Working at IAC has been an enjoyable experience and has provided an informative view and education of the greater Indian agricultural issues at hand for the Tribes and people whom the organization serves”

Colby D. Duren, J.D., LL.M.

Director of Policy and Government Relations, Intertribal Agriculture Council

Colby is the Director of Policy and Government Relations for the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). He leads IAC’s Washington, DC-based policy and advocacy initiatives, including the Native Farm Bill Coalition work, which is now housed under the IAC thanks to a generous grant from the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF). Colby has more than 13 years of experience in federal Indian law and policy, with a specific focus on food, agriculture, nutrition, natural resources, and economic development, including work on three Farm Bills.

 

Prior to joining the IAC, Colby served as Director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law (IFAI) and was IFAI’s Policy Director and Staff Attorney before becoming Director. In those roles, he supported the establishment of the Native Farm Bill Coalition in 2017, an effort which included the IAC as founding organization and led to 63 Tribal-specific changes in the 2018 Farm Bill. 

 

Previously, Colby served as Staff Attorney and Legislative Counsel for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Washington, DC, advocating on behalf of Tribal Nations on agriculture, land, and natural resources issues. He also was a Legal Assistant and Law Clerk for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Washington, DC office, and a Paralegal and Legislative Assistant at Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC in Washington, DC specializing in food and agriculture policy, and represented Tribes on land reparation and agriculture issues.

 

Colby earned his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, his Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and his Master of Laws in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Colby is licensed to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

In 2016, Colby was nominated by the Native American Bar Association of Washington, DC for its Significant Contribution in Indian Law Award for his work on environmental issues in Indian Country. He was also recognized by IAC membership in December 2018 for his work supporting Tribal governments and Tribal producers in the development of the 2018 Farm Bill.  Colby@indianag.org

Lilly Standing Bear

Administrative Assistant

Lilly Standing Bear ’akisii ‘ithaa is an enrolled member of the ‘A’aááńiinén and is descended from the Nakoda and Hinóno’ei (Northern Arapaho); she was raised on the Fort Belknap Reservation as well as southern Montana. She graduated from Aaniih Nakoda College as an American Indian College Fund Scholar and received an Associate of Arts in American Indian Studies in 2014. She went on to pursue Native American Studies and anthropology at the University of Montana until 2018. 

 

Lilly’s lifelong ambition to serve Native people is fulfilled through her work at IAC which started as an intern position in the summer of 2019. Her passion is finding paths to Native sovereignty and spends her free time learning her grandparents’ languages.

Lily@indianag.org

Sha'Teal Pearman

Natural Resources Program Assistant

Sha’Teal Pearman is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and was raised on a multi-generational family ranch on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She is a Gates Millenium Scholar and just recently earned her Bachelors at South Dakota State University in Agricultural Business with a specialization in Banking and Financial Services. Sha’Teal is also an IAC Bob Miller Memorial Scholarship Recipient.

In 2013 Sha’Teal was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to attend the IAC Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.  Attending opened her eyes to the amazing happenings in Indian Agriculture and the need to keep our future generations involved and invested in the industry.  At the 2016 annual meeting Sha’Teal and a fellow IAC youth member presented their idea to the IAC Board of Directors advocating to give a platform to youth in Indian Ag. The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance advisory board was the result of the hardwork and passion that Sha’Teal contributed to this.

In 2015 Sha’Teal created the Just Breathe Suicide Awareness Campaign, a non-profit that provides educational scholarships and activities to the youth of Cheyenne River to help bring awareness to and combat the suicide epidemic that oftentimes plagues Indian Country.  Shateal@indianag.org

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

100 North 27th Street, Suite 500, Billings, MT 59101 

Tel: (406) 259-3525  |  Fax: (406) 256-9980

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