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


     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.

    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.