FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Feb. 8, 2024 — Applications are open for the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative’s tenth annual Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit, set for July 15 – 23, 2024.
The Youth Summit brings participants from across Indian Country to the University of Arkansas to spend a week creating lifelong memories and fostering professional and academic skills development. The program has impacted more than 500 Native youth since its inception.
“We began the Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit 10 years ago with the desire to give Native Youth a space explore the vast opportunities within food, agriculture, and nutrition,” said Erin Parker, IFAI executive director. “Graduates of this program are establishing professional careers within Indian Country food and agriculture, launching businesses, taking on leadership roles within their community, and more. We are proud of every past attendee, and IFAI looks forward to the next 10 years investing in and equipping Native youth for success.”
Agricultural policy and production areas covered during Youth Summit include agricultural business and finance, land stewardship and conservation, agricultural law and policy, nutrition and health, and animal science.
“One way we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary is by adding a new track, which is animal science,” said Summer Wilkie, IFAI next generation manager. “Having the five varied tracks allow attendees to dive into their interests.”
Experiences include touring Tribal agricultural operations, interfacing with other youth and industry professionals, preparing an Indigenous and local foods banquet, and more.
“Throughout the week, participants work on a capstone project,” Wilkie said. “The capstone is an opportunity to tie everything together through problem-based learning, applying their knowledge and skills to real-world situations.”
Applications are open to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian youth ages 18-25, including recently graduated high school seniors. All travel and lodging expenses are covered for accepted applicants.
Applications close April 1, 2024. Apply at indigenousfoodandag.com
About the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative:
The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) enhances the health and wellness of Tribal communities by advancing healthy food systems, diversified economic development, and cultural food traditions. IFAI provides strategic legal analysis, policy research, and educational resources to empower Indian Country through food sovereignty, agriculture, and economic development.
Learn more at indigenousfoodandag.com