Supporting Navajo Nation Agriculture
It might be something that most overlook, but Navajo Nation agriculture runs deep and it’s important to highlight the efforts that are being made it keep it thriving. As mentioned in previous articles on the Navajo Nation, we have learned that the Navajo has their own Government System, which means they also have their own agriculture efforts which are managed differently than that of the “state land” we are accustomed to. The Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture is leading the way in agriculture sustainability for future generations as well as maintaining present-day efforts.
“NNDA strives in the redevelopment of a viable rural economy for the Dine people, focused on livestock ownership, commercial and subsistence farming enterprises. Establish efficient range management programs and practices; consistent with the principles and established guidelines for the conservation of soil and water resources.”
Navajo Nation Agriculture Resources & Support
The NNDA supports agriculture in several different ways including holding conferences for stakeholders, ranchers, and farmers, the Navajo Nation Veterinary Program, the Tribal Ranches Program, the Agricultural Conservation Corps, the Navajo Beef Program, and many more! I was lucky enough to chat with Navajo Nation Vice President, Myron Lizer to gain his perspective on the importance of agricultural growth and sustainability on the Navajo Nation, check it out.
Providing growth and sustainability is one of our highest priorities, doubly so during a drought. We’ve been in a decades-long drought which is only magnified by the pandemic which has wreaked havoc on our nation. What we need now is to bring change to mitigate the effects of drought here. CKP Insurance has played a huge role in providing drought mitigation insurance money to the nation over the last four years. We really need to advocate, as leaders, to use those monies strategically and urgently to bring resources back into the Navajo Nation for agricultural purposes.– Navajo Nation VP, Myron Lizer
Tribal Ranches Program
The Tribal Ranches Program oversees Navajo Nation Ranchlands by administering and ensuring all Tribal Ranch regulations and lease agreements are in compliance with Navajo Nation Law. The Program also ensures that sufficient revenues are generated to pay taxes, land use fees, and the cost of administration, by assessing and ensuring grazing lease fees are paid in a timely manner. There are a total of 25 ranches spread out over parts of New Mexico and Arizona.
Navajo Beef Program
Since 1974, during the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act, most Navajo brought livestock with them during the move, most of them without papers, vaccines, or marketable genetics. That made it difficult to create a marketable need and demand for Navajo beef products. Thus, Navajo Beef was born. The goal of Navajo Beef was to enhance genetics within herds and create a consistent, sought-after product, which is exactly what has happened. The very first customers of Navajo Beef were the Navajo Gaming Enterprise where they purchased beef to be used in their casino restaurants. The program is also partnered up with Labatt’s Food Service which is the 10th largest food distributor in the country. The program has since been broadened to “Native American Beef” to expand the brand and its products.
Bull Lease Program
When the Navajo Beef program was in its developmental stages, the need for high-quality bulls was determined a necessity for the longevity and quality of the land’s cattle. Now, Navajo ranchers have the opportunity to bring in outside bulls to breed to their cows, creating a more consistent beef product as an end result. This program allows Navajo Nation ranchers the opportunity to lease a purebred Angus bull to cows they already have in place. They keep the bulls for a minimum of 3 months and must have all the proper paperwork in place to be a part of the program.
Pasture Rangeland Forage Insurance & the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
First, you might be wondering what insurance has to do with the ongoing development of the Navajo Nation’s Agriculture sector. Well, it has a lot to do with it! Thanks to NN partner, CKP Insurance, the Navajo Nation has received several million dollars over the course of the last several years for their insurance policy for Pasture Rangeland Forage insurance. What’s amazing about this is the fact that the money goes right back into agriculture programs in Navajo Nation. Here is what Navajo Nation VP has to say about the partnership,
I’ve only been the Vice President for a little over two years and I don’t have a rich history in agriculture so to know that there is a drought mitigation plan in place for our ranchers is really important to me. The business is strategically set up in order to bring much-needed money back to the Navajo Nation for agricultural support. Any organization or company that can meld our culture and range management together and still be successful is amazing and is much needed. It’s few and far between being able to work with a business that is not only business-oriented but also adds value to their clients through the drought mitigation program.– Navajo Nation VP, Myron Lizer
To aid in the disbursement of those funds, the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund was established to use any remaining indemnity payments in excess of the amount necessary to guarantee the subsequent Crop Year’s insurance premiums to fund and implement agriculture infrastructure projects on the Navajo Nation. In addition to the AIF, the Livestock Management Incentive Program is designed to assist Navajo Ranchers during the ongoing drought who are using the best management practices and to encourage ranchers to reduce and maintain their livestock herd numbers to permitted levels current range carrying capacity levels.
About CKP Insurance
With CKP Insurance on your side, they are dedicated to providing you with insight, information, and alternative-risk solutions that are custom-fitted to your business and personal needs. They can tailor a plan for you using specific data in your region and even select options acre by acre. Their expertly trained professionals will walk you through a range of options using risk-assessment tools that will take the pressure off when there is a drought in your area. You can see what they’ve been able to accomplish with the Navajo Nation here.
The CKP Promise
CKP Insurance will…
- conduct a one-on-one personal consultation to go over your specific ranch or farming operation needs.
- provide an honest assessment and discourage you from purchasing unnecessary coverage.
- keep you informed throughout the year as to how the program is performing for you and advise on other opportunities to maximize your cost savings.