USDA Announces Walker River Paiute Tribe Signs Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Friday, July 15, 2022 - 3:00pm
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WASHINGTON, July 15, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Walker River Paiute Tribe under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). This is the first LFPA cooperative agreement between USDA and a tribal government. Additional agreements with tribal governments will follow in the coming weeks.

“USDA is excited to partner with Walker River Paiute Tribe to promote economic opportunities for farmers and producers and to increase access to locally sourced, fresh, healthy, and nutritious food in this community,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The Local Food Purchase Cooperative Agreement Program will improve food and agricultural supply-chain resiliency and increase local food consumption around the country. I am so honored to partner with Chairman Torres on this first-of-its-kind tribal agreement.”

The federally recognized Walker River Paiute Tribe is located on the Walker River Paiute Reservation, located in Schurz, Nev., a rural community in midwestern Nevada about 100 miles southeast of Reno, Nev.

Through LFPA, the Tribe will work with the Agai-Dicutta Local Food Purchase Program to source and distribute locally and regionally produced eggs, dairy, and produce at the Walker River Paiute Reservation. This two-year project will increase local food consumption among historically underserved populations while building economic opportunity for local, regional, and underserved farmers and producers.

“We are excited to collaborate with USDA by being the first tribal nation to sign a Local Food Purchase Agreement. Our partnership will benefit local producers throughout the Great Basin area and provide our tribal citizens access to healthy foods. We are happy to be a part of promoting tribal nutrition security, keeping dollars circulating within our local economy and building relationships with local farmers, ranchers and producers,” said Walker River Paiute Tribe Chairman Amber Torres. “I truly believe no one knows the needs of our tribal citizens better than the tribe and the people we serve. Despite the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic presented the tribe over the past two years, this program continues to show our resiliency as a tribal nation. We appreciate the flexibility and trust to administer our own program and the acknowledgement of our tribal sovereignty. Our congressional leaders made sure that Indian country was not an afterthought through tribal allocations in the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act, both of which provided seed funding for our Food Sovereignty project.”

The LFPA program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency. Through this program, USDA will award up to $400 million through non-competitive cooperative agreements with state and tribal governments to support local, regional, and underserved producers through the purchase of food produced within the state or within 400 miles of delivery destination.

AMS looks forward to continuing to sign agreements under this innovative program that allows state and tribal governments to procure and distribute local and regional foods and beverages that are healthy, nutritious, and unique to their geographic area.

More information about the program is available on AMS’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program webpage.


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