Woman with white gloved hands and clipboard on lap kneeling next to tomato plant and inspecting it using her hands

Tribal Agriculture Fellowship

Dr. LaKisha Odom


Development Contact

Catherine Maxwell

Applications are under review

About the Tribal Agriculture Fellowship

In recognition of the need for more agriculture education opportunities specifically geared toward Native students, the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) established the Tribal Agriculture Fellowship (TAF) with additional support provided by John DeereFarmer Mac and the Farm Credit. TAF supports Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students pursuing technical, undergraduate and graduate degrees in agriculture.

The mission of TAF is to create opportunities for students to advance their education in agriculture, increase specialized knowledge and preserve and promote the legacy of agriculture in tribal communities. The program is designed to close the financial gap to allow Fellows to place their primary focus on their academic pursuits, while allowing Fellows to have the time and resources needed to participate in educational enrichment activities.

The program provides a generous benefits package that can include up to four years of fellowship status, with funding to earn agricultural degrees or technical certifications. TAF resources can be utilized for:

  • Tuition & fees,
  • Housing,
  • Meal plans,
  • Equipment fees and testing costs,
  • Professional development

TAF is managed by the nonprofit organization, Native Agriculture Education Fellowship Program (NAEFP).

For more information visit the TAF website.

The 2023 application period has closed. The 2024 application period will open fall 2023.

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For full program details visit https://taffellows.org/.


Tribal Agriculture Fellowship Inaugural Cohort

Year: 2022

Marquel Begay (Dine’ [Navajo])

University of Montana

Level: Graduate
Major: Ecology, Management and Restoration of Rangelands
Focus Area: Ecological restoration and community-based land management planning on the Navajo Nation.
Career Goal: To serve as a good relative, educator, researcher and liaison for Tribal communities interested in improving and sustaining their agricultural and natural resources that support and strengthen their local cultural knowledge and practices for future generations. I’d like to teach at Dine’ College, our reservation TCU."

Nicole Benally (Navajo)

University of Montana

Level: Graduate Student
Major: Forest & Conservation Sciences
Focus Area: Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Career Goal: To serve Indigenous people by connecting them to resources that integrate contemporary community lifestyles with the preservation of their culture, food, language, and ecological knowledge.

Maddylon Burris (Chickasaw)

Redlands Community College

Level: Career Technical Education
Major: Agriculture Education
Focus Area: Teaching Agriculture Education
Career Goal: To receive an Associate Degree in Agriculture Education from Redlands Community College; finish a Bachelor’s Degree at Oklahoma State University; begin teaching Agriculture Education in public schools, with the intent to focus on Native American students’ involvement in agriculture.

Carson Capps (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)

Oklahoma State University

Level: Undergrad
Major: Agribusiness
Focus Area: Pre-Law
Career Goal: After graduating from Oklahoma State University, I plan to attend law school, specializing in Indigenous Peoples law. My intent is to use my education and advocate for agriculture and Native American communities in my home state of Oklahoma.

Jaelyn Dove (Lumbee)

North Carolina State University

Level: Undergrad
Major: Animal Science
Focus Area: Veterinary Bio-Sciences
Career Goal: To finish my animal science degree and complete veterinary school. Then, I will return to rural North Carolina to practice veterinary medicine in the Robeson/Bladen counties area.

Henry Hainzinger (Osage)

Oklahoma State University-Institute of Technology

Level: Career Technical Education
Major: Truck Technician
Focus Area: Diesel Mechanic
Career Goal: My plan is to graduate, work for someone else for two-three years, and then build my own shop in Osage county. I would eventually like to run my own shop while still being able to help on the family ranch.

Gina McGuire (ʻŌiwi [Native Hawaiian])

University: University of Hawai’i

Level: Graduate Student
Major: Geography & Environment
Focus Area: Indigenous Geographies of Wellness
Career Goal: To start and operate a non-profit organization focused on restoring Hawaiʻi’s traditional foods and native forest systems. 

Santana Nez (Navajo)

University of Arizona

Level: Graduate
Major: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Focus Area: Mixed animal/food; animal medicine
Career Goal: To provide animal medicine services on rural Tribal and non-Tribal lands.

Justina Slim (Navajo)

Colorado State University

Level: Undergraduate
Major: Animal Science & Agriculture Business
Focus Area: Bovine Reproduction and Genetics
Career Goal: I would like to work for forward-thinking companies like Select Sires and ABS Global to aid producers so they can make genetically informed decisions that will improve the beef product within their herds.

Brendan Walker (Navajo)

University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine

Level: Graduate
Major: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Focus Area: Large Animal Medicine
Career Goal: To practice as a mixed animal veterinarian on Tribal lands. 

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