Intertribal Agriculture Council Inc

BILLINGS, MT   |  https://www.indianag.org

Mission

The Intertribal Agriculture Council was founded in 1987 to pursue and promote the conservation, development, and use of agricultural resources for the betterment of Native American people.

Ruling year info

1994

Executive Director

Kari Lawrence

Main address

PO BOX 958

BILLINGS, MT 59103 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3886772

NTEE code info

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Management & Technical Assistance (C02)

Economic Development (S30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

IAC’s work over three decades throughout Indian Country has identified two major challenges to building thriving communities, which our innovative approach seeks to overcome: (1) an extractive system of agriculture finance and (2) an unsustainable ecosystem of community-serving organizations forced to co-opt their mission in exchange for funding. Over the next 10 years, our Sustainability Finance Model (SFM) as implemented through IAC’s endowment and Akiptan Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), will strategically invest capital directly in Indian agribusinesses, the heart and soul of Tribal and rural economies. IAC’s established programs will continue to directly support producers’ conservation goals, facilitate access to domestic and foreign markets, protect the integrity of Native-produced products, and support youth interested in agricultural careers.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Technical Assistance Program

The programs and services offered within the IAC Mission Areas have their origins in the findings of our predecessors, as identified in the National Indian Agriculture Working Group Report. Since 1987, when that document informed IAC’s creation, we have sought to fill the needs identified therein. Providing meaningful, dedicated, and timely assistance to our Member Tribes and producers in their communities, to access the resources our non-Indian counterparts take for granted, has been a pivotal part of IAC’s success.

Equitable access to federal programs designed to support agriculture is but one problem faced by Tribal producers. A sharp economic downturn in agricultural industries in the 80’s and 90’s exacerbated problems in service provision for underrepresented producers. To address these disparities, IAC created the Technical Assistance Program which institutionalized Technical Assistance Centers and dedicated Technical Assistance Specialists in each BIA-designed region. By working to streamline existing programs and assisting producers with loan application processes and accessing programs, IAC has facilitated a more functional relationship between the USDA and Indian Country and played a vital role in the evolution of USDA programs. The Technical Assistance network has since flourished, gaining widespread acceptance, and IAC programming is integrated with agriculture operations throughout the nation.

The IAC and its programs are now well-established and are engaged in various policy and programming levels, interacting with Tribal, local, state and federal authorities to seek opportunities to greatly expand the economic impact and stability of agriculture in Indian Country. Given the vital importance of food production to the economic and social welfare of American Indian and Alaskan Tribes, the IAC is working to shift the current agriculture paradigm from one of extraction to a state of holism. IAC is redefining and revolutionizing the concept of “healthy food” from that of a self-contained consumable item to a thoughtfully cultivated product connected to a healthy and functional system of natural resources, economics, and people.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Farmers

In the process of building the Technical Assistance Program, IAC identified the need for programming that would position producers to receive fair prices for their products versus what was offered through commodity markets. Many producers outside of Indian Country enjoy access to capital that allows them to grow their operations, develop processing facilities, and capture profit. The American Indian Foods (AIF) program, developed by IAC in partnership with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, offers Native producers a venue by which they may feature their products, ensures market readiness, and facilitates access to foreign markets.

The ultimate goal of this program is to develop sustainable economics based on food production by converting the $3.3 billion in raw food products being sold off Indian Reservations today into an estimated $20 billion industry in high-value, retail-level food products. This goal is steadily being met through international activities and more recent domestic market activities that bring top native chefs, producers, and venues together to feature Native cuisine. Domestic market efforts are aligning producers with markets and consumers requesting quality, local and regionally produced foods.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Farmers

For many years, producers were without protections against cultural and intellectual resource theft from non-Native competitors who were benefiting from Native imitations. Native producers would clearly benefit from a process that highlighted the unique characteristics of authentic Native-produced foods, and as a result, IAC pursued the process of establishing and registering the “Made by American Indians” trademark. A front running program in food labeling, the United States Patent and Trademark Office formally approved the Made by American Indians trademark in 1993, nine years before the USDA established the USDA Organic Label. The trademark has been test marketed and is certified for use on three classes with additional certifications ongoing as use increases. Over 500 licensed trademark users participate in this program with new users added continually.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Farmers

As descendents of the original stewards of this continent, American Indian producers are poised to set a precedent for innovative, regenerative agricultural practices. Having been connected to these landscapes for generations, our producers have a great deal of knowledge and practice to share with the world related to the protection and appropriate use of our natural resources. Following decades of advocacy, spurred by federally recognized Tribes across the country, the Intertribal Agriculture Council was triumphant in enhancing the commitment of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service to Indian land stewards. The IAC has remained at the forefront of providing improved access to regenerative conservation planning and restoration efforts.

Some of IAC’s first programs directed at resource protection include the Reservation Resource Planning initiative mandated by the American Indian Agriculture Management Act of 1993. Serving as a hub for natural resource technical assistance, the IAC continues to build useful management resources and functional land stewardship tools. As a result of this leadership, IAC has actively assisted Tribes across the country in developing their own Conservation Districts. This effort has localized the regulation of appropriate resource management and reestablished Tribal authority as the model for regenerative management practices. This multifaceted partnership supports Native producers by offering a unique opportunity to build upon their land stewardship knowledge base as they continue to increase regenerative production, ecosystem resilience, and operational profitability.

More recent programming is centered on building conservation leaders at the community level through peer-to-peer learning and resource sharing; to ensure across-the-fence-line collaboration and autonomy over conservation plans affecting their land. IAC’s conservation programming is leading the national regenerative agriculture and food sovereignty movement by equipping Native conservationists with the resources needed to support widespread ecological health outcomes.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Farmers

IAC’s Youth Leadership Development Programming is a true model for a peer-led, peer-taught, and community inspired initiative. The IAC hosts and facilitates local and regional professional development summits to expose youth to opportunities in food and agriculture. With a focus on leadership development, the IAC presents innovative economic and community health concepts grounded in Indian agriculture, and fosters a network of diverse agriculture professional mentors and mentees. Stewarding our youth program initiatives, is a Youth Board of Directors.

The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance (NYFSA) envisions culturally-appropriate, regenerative and self-sufficient food and agricultural systems in Indian Country and around the world. With an aging farmer demographic that averages 58 years old and a growing Native youth population interested in farming, this board guides IAC’s development of a Native youth resource hub; a project that strives to engage Native youth as leaders in accessing the sovereignty, self-reliance, and cultural empowerment that exists within their communities.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Farmers

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of stakeholders or stakeholder groups who agree to engage

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Farmers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

IAC’s reach includes working directly with 574 member Tribes and major federal, state, and private organizations to address major agricultural and economic development.

Number of clients placed in internships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Young adults, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Youth Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

IAC’s Youth Program recruits Native American youth for placement in paid internships and experiences within communities across the country to prepare them for careers in the agricultural industry.

Total revenue of target crop sold

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Indigenous peoples, Farmers

Related Program

American Indian Foods (AIF)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

For this metric, we define “crop” to include all products sold from agricultural lands as defined by the USDA Census; Figures reported are American Indian Food Exports from IAC’s AIF program.

Number of loans issued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Young adults, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Technical Assistance Program

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

IAC’s partner org, Akiptan, issues patient capital in the form of loans and investments. IAC TA’s work with producers to secure loans from the USDA and other financial entities (in dollar amounts).

Number of individual agriculture producers receiving technical assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Indigenous peoples, Farmers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Activities include training and technical assistance for accessing federal programs, navigating loan applications, agriculture and resource planning, and accessing domestic and foreign markets.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are seeking to change the poverty maps through the thoughtful, regenerative, and holistic development of food systems in a way that can be replicated in all of rural America. Agriculture is the primary industry on reservation lands comprising 59 million acres of diverse ag production, yet still contains some of the most impoverished communities in the country. Most operations have been in business for 10 years or more and possess significant potential for increasing production and profits with the patient capital investments. At present, 79,198 Native farmers and ranchers produce high quality food and fiber from the most pristine land and waters in the United States.

In spite of many challenges, Native American farmers and ranchers produced an estimated $3.5 billion in products in 2017. This figure represents anywhere from 11 to 15 cents of the food dollar spent by consumers. The lack of patient capital in the current ag finance system to enable bringing more of these products into the value-added agriculture sector is one of the critical missing pieces addressed by our model. With strategic investments that infuse flexible capital into producer operations and by opening opportunities in domestic and foreign markets, Native American producers offer profound promise for creating thriving food economies at home while simultaneously leading the sustainable agriculture movement.

Through IAC’s programs, there is potential to develop sustainable economies and resilient regional food systems by converting the $3.5 billion in raw food products being sold by Indian producers today into an estimated $20 billion industry in high-value retail level food products. Through our Sustainability Finance Model, economic futures will be revitalized and food and agriculture systems reclaimed for their highest good.

IAC is facilitating market connections, aligning food systems, and influencing policy and programs to ensure producers receive the support and resources needed for increased production. Furthermore, IAC’s commitment to providing technical assistance to all of Indian Country has always encouraged producers to place the need for resource conservation as their first priority, and our knowledge of producer cultural values has allowed us to be successful in collaborating on initiatives that drive innovative, multi-generational conservation forward. For over 30 years, IAC has supported agricultural communities through programs that:

1. Address legal and policy barriers
2. Facilitate agriculture and resource conservation planning
3. Provide direct technical assistance and training
4. Increase access to domestic and foreign markets
5. Train the new generation of agricultural producers and professionals
6. Infuse patient capital directly into producer operations

The creation of a Sustainability Finance Model will allow Indian Country to ultimately fund its own capacity development with deployment of patient capital. Our approach emerges by virtue of the IAC's holistic (read, Native American, or Indigenous) approach to resource development, economic strategy, and sustainability; our definition of "healthy food" includes the maximum, sustainable, economic benefit to the communities of origin. By putting more money each year in the pockets of producers, we are enabling sustainable practices, and generating a return on investment. Our Sustainability Finance Model looks to those left behind, ignored, or discriminated against by conventional financing as the backbone of a revenue generation model to fund the work of IAC and other capacity development organizations.

IAC has championed improvements in agriculture and food systems in Indian Country for over 30 years, and works in all sectors that are critical to building resilient, regenerative food systems. Three decades of work have identified equitable finance as the foundation upon which any meaningful change must be built. To that end, IAC sponsored the creation of ‘Akiptan,’ a Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that is shifting the paradigm of agriculture finance from lending to investment in producer futures. The Sustainability Finance Model is coupled with IAC programs and the work of national partners with expertise in policy and law constraints inherent in Indian agriculture, community-level resource planning, training of the new agricultural workforce, and land access and infrastructure development, all areas which must be considered to ensure that funds invested yield long-term results.

The culture of IAC is such that staff accomplish a great deal in terms of impacts, with relatively minimal funding in comparison to other service provision programs. Ingenuity, hard work, and resourcefulness are qualities the staff bring to the organizational table directly from the field. IAC’s countless examples of programmatic efficacy include provision of direct outreach into 262 Tribal communities over the last nine years, the generation of nearly 100 million dollars in international sales for Tribal producers who market their products through the American Indian Foods program, building badly needed infrastructure in Indian Country for processing and distributing food, accomplishing conservation goals over millions of acres of land, and fundamentally shaping federal policy through the Farm Bill and other major legislation to include underrepresented producers.

To grow the Sustainability Finance Model, IAC secured $2,965,000 in 2018 and $500,000 in 2019 from the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) to fund a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused solely on Indian agriculture and food systems. Since Akiptan’s inception, sustainability finance has been deployed in various types of agribusinesses across 14 Indian nations and counting. The results of Akiptan continue to inspire as producers gain the confidence to invest in their operations, their families, and their communities. Akiptan’s portfolio distribution aligns with Ag Census data, as a majority of is invested in grazing livestock.

As Akiptan serves the entire food economy, the diversity of the portfolio ranges from greenhouse grown botanicals in the export market, to ag transportation, to agriculture feed retailers. As anticipated, the need for services and loan products far outweighs available resources. Partners are being sought to provide additional capital through various mechanisms, including loans, grants, and mission or program-related investments. IAC will scale and refine this progressive revenue sharing model to once and for all turn the tide in favor of vibrant, self-sufficient, and regenerative Native American food economies.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Collecting feedback from membership is a practice built into our operations. Each IAC service region conducts a meeting once per year to address issues and solutions that are unique to the particular region. These meetings are often recorded and notes are taken to account for participant input for later follow-up. The annual IAC conference gathers the total of IAC's membership together to discuss the most pertinent topics and to gather input into areas the IAC will need to focus on for the next five years. During the 2019 annual IAC conference, the final input process was facilitated by a third party group wherein staff discussed how to collectively address the feedback that was collected from membership. This content was added to IAC's strategic plan for the next five years.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Intertribal Agriculture Council Inc
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Intertribal Agriculture Council Inc

Board of directors
as of 6/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Harlan Beaulieu

Red Lake Nation

James McCuen

Joe Frank

Anita Matt

Ray Castillo

Meagan Baldy

Tonya Kitchen

Theo Garcia

Zachary Ilbery

Charlene Miller

Raymond Redcorn

John Shije

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/14/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/04/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.