WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs released the following statement outlining important tribal provisions included in the final 2018 Farm Bill, which was approved by the Senate today. The legislation includes provisions from the CROPS for Indian Country Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by the Senator to support agriculture in Indian Country.
“Our producers need the certainty that comes with the passage of a five-year farm bill,” said Chairman Hoeven, who was a member of the farm bill conference committee. “The bill includes important tribal provisions from the CROPS Act, which were the result of input by Tribal producers from across Indian Country. We worked hard to ensure that the farm bill supports our Native American communities and as chairman, I will continue to work to strengthen Tribal agricultural production.”
Senator Hoeven led the Senate in including Indian Country’s priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill. In January, the Senator convened an oversight hearing to identify opportunities for Indian agribusiness and co-chaired a bipartisan roundtable on tribal traditional foods. In May, Hoeven introduced the bipartisan CROPS for Indian Country Act alongside Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).
Hoeven outlined priorities for Indian Country he worked to include in the final farm bill, including:
CROPS for Indian Country Act: Hoeven secured key provisions from his bipartisan CROPS for Indian Country Act that will promote agribusiness in Indian Country, support research opportunities and partnerships between tribal colleges and universities, and strengthen Tribal self-governance for USDA programs. These provisions:
Establish a PL 93-638 tribal pilot project to bolster greater local control over procurement of goods for tribal nutrition programs.
Expand support for research opportunities at Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Make permanent the USDA Tribal Advisory Committee to provide technical assistance to the Secretary of Agriculture.
Promote trade opportunities for local producers by directing the Secretary, when applicable, appoint Tribal producers to international trade missions.
The bill also includes a technical fix for names of Tribal Colleges and Universities including Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College in New Town, ND.