Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) congratulated EBCI tribal member Mary Thompson for being appointed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching. Thompson, a farmer and rancher in Cherokee, will advise the Secretary on ways to eliminate barriers to participation for Native American farmers and ranchers.
“I congratulate Mary on her selection to this important committee,” Sen. Hagan said. “I’m pleased that Cherokee Nation and North Carolina will have a voice in ensuring that Native Americans have fair access to important USDA programs.”
Members of the Council are appointed for two-year terms by the Secretary. The appointees include: Native American (American Indian and Alaska Native) farmers or ranchers; representatives of nonprofit organizations that work with Native farmers and ranchers; civil rights professionals; educators; tribal elected leaders; senior USDA officials; and other persons the Secretary deems appropriate.
The Council will hold its first meeting this summer. It will work with the Office of Tribal Relations, the FSA, and other USDA agencies to improve the success of Native farmers and ranchers who access USDA’s entire portfolio of programs to build and achieve profitability in their businesses.
– Sen. Hagan’s office