Building Business Management Capacity for American Indian Agricultural Businesses

Final report for EW14-017

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2014: $75,000.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2017
Grant Recipient: Utah State University
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:
Ruby Ward
Utah State University
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Project Information


 We did a needs assessment at the Intertribal Agriculture Council.  We did a focus group and interview of Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program agents (FRTEP) and written evaluation from FRTEP and conference participants.  From that  we decided to create 2 sets of modules (one on basic personal finance and one on business management). 

Between when we applied for the grant in October 2013 and when we received the grant FRTEP started doing their own professional development meetings.  So instead of holding 2 3.5 day meetings, we had shorted focused meetings as part of other professional development events.  We did 2-hours as part of the FRTEP meetings in October 2016.  At those meetings people indicated they did not need a follow-up ingeneral, but there was interest in doing something local in Arizona.  

Project Objectives:

Finalize Performance Plan:  We have decided that we need to change how we deliver the material. The summary above explains why and what we want the delivery plan to be. We worked with other groups to present materials.  We also expanded the curriculum development portion of the project.

Develop Curriculum.   We did the focus group study and surveyed existing materials.  We came up with outlines for 2 sets of modules for FRTEP agents and others to use to deliver programs.  The first set is personal basic finance (the top issue from the focus group) and the second set is for business evaluation and management.  Each module is intended for a 2 hour session, but the curriculum can be used in a variety of ways.  The list of modules for each are below.

The Personal Finance Modules are listed below.





Module 1

Record Keeping and Cash Flows

Module 2

Loans and Credit Cards

Module 3

Loan Process,5 C's of Borrowing

Module 4

Credit Reports and Credit Score

Module 5

Savings and Budgeting

Module 6

Personal Finance

Module 7

Creating Your Financial Plan

Module 8

Presentation of Plans, Review Plans, and Additional Topics

The business Management Modules are listed below.

Module 1

Developing Your Idea

Module 2

Market Assessment– estimating market size, pricing

Module 3

Introduction to Budgets and Financial Statements

Module 4

Financial Analysis

Module 5

Introduction to American Indian Land Tenure

Module 6

Ownership, Liability and Risk

Module 7

Tax Issues for Farmers and Ranchers

Each module has a guideline with teaching notes, power point file and optional exercises, handouts, etc.  The modules will be finalized in 2016. 

Conduct Promotional Program.  We did this through other groups programs.

Deliver Seminars.  The way we will train FRTEP agents and others to deliver the materials needs to be modified from the existing methods.  A summary of the reasons is in the summary section above.  We worked with other groups to present information and also did stand alone meetings in Arizona.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Kynda Curtis
  • Staci Emm
  • Trent Teegerstrom


Educational approach:

The education approach was to develop curriculum on money and business management that would be appropriate for Native American participants.  Originally we had proposed holding stand alone workshops for Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Agents and others.  However, between apply for and getting the grant FRTEP had started their own professional development training.  So instead our approach was to reach the same number of people.  However, we traveled to and presented at other workshops and conferences.  We also did smaller meeting with local groups. 

In the end, we had a more extensive curriculum development (two sets of modules rather than one) and less extensive workshops, while still reaching the same numbers.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Financial Management training and business assessment and business plans for American Indian farmers and Ranchers

Provide information, curriculum and training on providing education about money management, assessing new business ideas, and developing business plans in a way that is accessible and appropriate for American Indian farmers and ranchers.


In a needs assessment of needs for materials and education for American Indian farmers and ranchers money management and basic financial education came out as the top priority.  This objective is to provide tools and materials and also education about teaching these topics in an accessible way.

In addition other topics included business plans, assessing new ideas, etc.  So information that includes topics unique to American Indian farmers and ranchers such as Indian Land Tenure and tax issues and examples appropriate is provided.  

Outcomes and impacts:

Over 60 professionals were provided information and training on this subject.  It was used in educational programs undertaken by them to reach over 90 participants.  This provided those individuals with materials and knowledge to make training on this subject easier.

Informal feedback indicated that these were useful materials and appropriate for the target audience.

Educational & Outreach Activities

10 Consultations
2 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
5 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary:

60 Extension
7 Nonprofit
31 Agency

Learning Outcomes

75 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
15 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:


A focus group was conducted at the IAC meetings.  Results were summarized both from FRTEP agents and from the broader meeting participants.  Those results were used to outline the modules developed.

Money Management Curricula was created to be accessible to American Indian farmers and ranchers.

Business Management curricula was developed to educate about assessing new ideas and creating business plans.


6 Agricultural service provider participants who used knowledge and skills learned through this project (or incorporated project materials) in their educational activities, services, information products and/or tools for farmers
315 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Success stories:

American Indian farmers used the education about financial analysis in their own operations.  Several indicated it was helping them make financial decisions.

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.