Elsie Meeks: USDA official meets tribal leaders in South Dakota

Elsie Meeks, the State Director of the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development in South Dakota, discusses a meeting with tribal leaders in South Dakota:
Last week, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan led a USDA delegation deep into the heart of Indian Country in South Dakota. All three of us and our teams from USDA’s South Dakota state offices for Rural Development, the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service were joined by the Acting Director of the USDA Office of Tribal Relations, Max Finberg, along with Darlene Barnes, the regional director of the Food and Nutrition Service, and South Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner Walt Bones. We were hosted by the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Sioux nations in the center of our state. The Deputy Secretary held a roundtable discussion on the importance of agriculture and economic development in Indian Country and visited a unique Native American food company. She was joined by many tribal leaders and organizations, including farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs.

Hosted by Crow Creek Chairman Brandon Sazue, Lower Brule Chairman Michael Jandreau, Pine Ridge former Chair Cecilia Fire Thunder and Hunkpati Investments Executive Director Krystal Langholz, the Deputy Secretary and USDA representatives started the day with a moving roundtable discussion about agriculture, food, education, community and economic development opportunities in Indian Country.

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Elsie Meeks: Deputy Secretary Holds Roundtable Discussion with Tribal Leaders in South Dakota (USDA Blog 3/7)

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