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Paul Rhien
505-470-2290 Office

Toolkit to Strengthen the Business of Tribal Agriculture

March 21, 2017 - Tribal Liaison - Information

Registration link for the 2017 new Mexico tribal farming and ranching gathering.The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) will unveil a new toolkit that provides practical resources and guidance to tribal farmers and ranchers to address a gap in getting raw produce and livestock from field and range to market. The toolkit will be launched at the New Mexico Tribal Farming and Ranching Gathering on Wednesday, March 22nd from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Tamaya Wellness Center, 225 Ranchitos Road in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. The toolkit was developed in partnership with the state Indian Affairs Department, the Department of Agriculture, the New Mexico State Legislature and Office of the Governor.

New resources being made available are designed to reduce food insecurity and food deserts in tribal communities in the state. Food deserts are areas of any region where people have limited access to affordable, fresh produce and other nutritious foods at grocery stores and limited transportation options. People in these regions often experience food insecurity because of inadequate quality, variety, and/or amount of food.

“We are committed to making a positive impact on important health issues like obesity and diabetes,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “I am both proud and grateful for the work our department and our partners have put into this project.”

“By providing these resources to New Mexico’s tribes, pueblos, and nations, we hope to support the business success of tribal farmers and ranchers by encouraging them to grow and sell their farming products,” said Kelly Zunie, New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Cabinet Secretary. “This important initiative supports both the tribal food network and economic development.”

In 2015, the state of New Mexico received technical assistance funding to address food deserts in tribal communities through the TeamWork: Leadership for Healthy States program. TeamWork is a project of the Aspen Institute Justice & Society Program and is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support collaboration among state government officials to address public health issues.

The New Mexico team, led by NMDOH, focused on identifying solutions to encourage healthy eating and active living, gathering community input in building the toolkit resources, and identifying existing and emerging initiatives across the state that contribute to strengthening local food systems.

The result is the creation of a New Mexico Tribal Farming Toolkit that provides practical resources and guidance to New Mexico’s tribal farmers and ranchers that may improve their ability to build or grow their businesses. Subject areas addressed in the resource include: business start-up resources, money management and business funding, and selling.

Seating is limited for the event, so please visit the New Mexico Tribal Farming and Ranching Gathering Event Online Registration page to register in advance. A waiting list will be established for residents interested in learning more about the project.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Paul Rhien at 505-470-2290 (Office) with your questions.


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