The goal of this project is to increase the economic viability and livelihood of small Native American and other limited resource farmers and ranchers through joint agri-tourism and specialty agri-product market opportunities. With tourist attractions such as The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Canyon De Chelly, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Monument Valley, and the Saguaro National Monument, thousands of tourists travel through Southwest Indian Country every year. Most tribes, however, benefit very little from the tourists that pass through their lands. Our project provides step-by-step instruction and examples of how these traditionally underserved producers can better develop specialty niche agricultural products that will compliment recreation/education activities on tribal lands. Several workshop and conference trainings were hosted by our partners along with individual follow-up training through cooperating Tribal Extension Agents. This project will provide “next-step” education by linking tourism to specialty agri-products and by providing one-on-one follow-up training through Tribal Extension Agents that live and work in Indian Country. Our curriculum helps identify and quantify the risks and returns associated with the development of joint agri-tourism and specialty agri-product markets. An example could be evaluating the diversification and return potential of an educational “jeep tour” of sheep production on the Navajo nation while also dropping off tourists at a store that has Navajo woven sheep products and Navajo mutton jerky for sale. Education has also been provided on the requirements and strategies to successfully obtain financial assistance, including start-up loans and grants from the federal government and private entities.
|Conference||2005 National Extension Risk Management Education Conference|