Building Business Management Capacity for American Indian Agricultural Businesses

Project Overview

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

Annual Reports

Information Products

Money Management Curriculum (Course or Curriculum)
Business Management Curriculum (Course or Curriculum)


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: extension, mentoring, networking
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance, risk management, value added
  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, new business opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    It’s difficult for agricultural producers to achieve economically viable operations, but is especially true in Indian Country where American Indian producers face additional restrictions and regulations (Ward, Teegerstrom and Hiller 2013; Emm and Singletary 2009). Outreach and Extension programs in the West do provide workshops for American Indian farmers and ranchers concerning farm/ranch business management and marketing, but the ultimate impacts of these programs on participants are often low or unknown. Due to their remote location, American Indian producers often do not have a qualified local contact they can work with one-on-one after the workshops. Such contacts are important, as producers in Indian Country tend to have more difficulty obtaining financing, accessing land, and accessing trained agriculture professionals. Thus, the need for assistance through the planning and implementation process is critical. This project will provide farm/ranch business management and marketing training to Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program (FRTEP) agents, 1994 Tribal Colleges and non-profit organizations in Indian Country. They are located on the reservations and have a history of working with tribal members. For example, Arizona has seven FRTEP agents serving five of Arizona’s 24 tribes. With more advanced training in business planning, financial management, and marketing these agents can more effectively serve workshop participants with one-one-one follow up and assistance, thus improving the ultimate impacts of programming and success rates among participants. The training will not only provide in-depth farm/ranch business management tools, but will focus on the issues and examples unique to Indian Country.

    Project objectives from proposal:


      1. Adapt and develop curriculum and tools that are appropriate and effective for American Indian producers to increase capacity to analyze agriculture enterprises in the first year.


      1. Hold two 3.5 day intensive workshops for FRTEP agents and non-profit organizations, 30 participants each.


      1. Develop a network of workshop participants and experts for use by workshop participants, ongoing.


      1. Workshop participants will hold educational programs for American Indian producers and work with them one-on-one to analyze changes to their agriculture enterprises and develop and implement plans.


    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.