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December 27, 2018


Dec. 20, 2018

Carly Hotvedt
Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources
918-549-2550 (O)

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Represented Nation’s Tribal Agriculture Endeavors at Annual Intertribal Agriculture Council Meeting in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources staff attended the annual membership meeting of the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). The meeting was held Dec. 10 – 13, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nev. This concluded an exciting year for the Division’s programs and significant involvement in tribal agriculture.

This year, the Division participated in policy development of the Farm Bill in conjunction with the Native Farm Bill Coalition. The Farm Bill participation included flying to Washington, D.C., to meet with elected representatives and staff to advocate for tribal agriculture. The Farm Bill was passed and signed by U.S. President Donald Trump Dec. 20, 2018. This iteration of the Farm Bill is the most inclusive for tribal governments and citizens to date.

Bob Miller, founding IAC Board member and delegate for the Nation, was recognized at the conference for 32 years of service to the organization. Miller has provided significant contributions to developing bylaws, advocating for Native agriculture and guiding the organization to its current level of success.

Director of Ag and Nat. Resources Carly Hotvedt served alongside Miller as the Nation’s alternate delegate, representing the tribe’s interest in the Eastern Oklahoma caucus. The caucus elected Hotvedt as the alternate board member to represent Eastern Oklahoma tribes before the IAC Board.

Hotvedt will coordinate with area tribes to develop policy, advocate for tribal interests and coordinate the planning of the 2019 IAC Eastern OK Youth Summit.

Caucus attendees also developed policy recommendations for the IAC Board to pursue, including a tribal survey of perspectives on livestock traceability standards and increased local support for expansion of IAC Youth recruiting, development and participation.

Another IAC Board objective discussed was the need for encouraging FFA chapter advisors to more accurately report tribal youth participation to allow tribes to better target Ag youth for programmatic support.

Lastly, the board members examined continued policy improvements in order to ease enrollment of fractionated land into eligible federal conservation programs.

This year’s conference theme was, “A New Beginning for Tribal Agriculture”. In line with the theme, Hotvedt submitted MCN Ag Youth Development Manager Billy Haltom for consideration to present on the Nation’s commitment to supporting new generations of tribal agriculturalists.

Haltom was selected to present to the conference of more than 600 attendees about the Nation’s tribal ag youth program, as an example for other tribes interested in beginning an ag youth program. His presentation was well received by attending tribes and highlighted the support of MCN for youth participation in agriculture. Supported activities include speech contests, archery competitions, purchase of 4H and FFA jackets and the second largest All Indian Livestock Show. The livestock show is in its seventh year. It is scheduled for Jan. 25 – 27, 2019, at the Okfuskee County Fairgrounds in Okemah, Okla.

Haltom’s presentation also featured successful youth participants including Sadie Varner of Bristow, Okla., who sold her champion gilt for $27,000 this year and Hayden Hodges, who was a top three finalist for the IAC’s 2018 youth essay contest.

Hodges of Weleetka, Okla., wrote an essay detailing the impact of the Nation’s agriculture programs on him as a burgeoning young producer. He read his essay to the conference attendees during the Tribal Foods Luncheon catered by Quapaw Nation featuring all tribally-produced food products including bison, fish, wild rice, beef, greenhouse vegetables and kombucha.

Hodges’ essay called attention to the Ag Youth Program, the MCN Conservation District and the College of the Muscogee Nation. All of which are vital components of supporting continued participation in tribal agriculture. In addition to the paid trip to Las Vegas with his chaperone, great aunt Sandra Golden, Hodges received an 8th Generation blanket, iPad, Pendleton iPad cover and $500 cash award. Hodges is now looking forward to applying to work with the MCN Agribusiness program through the Summer Youth Work Experience Program.

Three other of the Nation’s youth essay participants, Abby Anderson, Alex Davis and Kvlvne Woodward, who were awarded a free trip to Las Vegas to participate in the Youth Conference held in conjunction with the IAC membership meeting.

The MCN Division of Ag and Nat. Resources is proud to continue its agricultural programmatic success and will continue representing the tribe’s agricultural interests from the local to federal level.

For more information on the MCN Division of Ag and Nat. Resources’ programs and services, visit