Native F2S Champions: Miami Public Schools / Modoc Nation of Oklahoma
This blog is part of a series of profiles of Native Farm to School Champions, organized and collated by the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). IAC is NFSN's 2019 National Partner of the Year, and we are excited to collaborate with IAC on this storytelling project to celebrate farm to school activities happening across Indian Country. These Champion profiles were written and submitted by IAC's Regional Technical Assistance Specialists, and these programs will be recognized for the farm to school leadership at the 2019 IAC Annual Meeting. Learn more about the IAC at www.indianag.org.
Miami Public Schools and the Modoc Nation of Oklahoma have been awarded a USDA Farm to School Grant as of July 2019. IAC staff interviewed Modoc Bison Ranch and community development staff of the Modoc Nation in late September. The Modoc tribe are originally from homelands in Oregon and are eager to build a historical and cultural awareness of nutritious foods for their school community. This tribal nation farm operation has their own herd of bison, which they acquired through the National Park Service. The USDA award is an implementation grant. The Eastern OK region has taken strides in value-added agricultural production and are invested in educating their youth where their food comes from and how it makes its way to the table. Program grants are designed to increase the amount of healthy, local foods served in schools and create economic opportunities for nearby farmers. The bison products are currently sold through the Modoc Nation Administrative office and offers bison products such as jerky, summer sausage, bison steaks, roast, and bison liver at a fair and competitive price point.
“We are excited about the opportunity that presents itself here,” said Miami Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Hogan. “We’re still in the infancy stages trying to figure out how it’s all going to work and how to best implement it.” IAC TA spoke with Annette Clark, Director of Education and Culture for the Modoc Nation after she had returned from a Farm to School Grantee meeting in Louisiana. Annette was excited to share that the Public Schools and the Modoc Nation will sponsor a taste of Bison sample in collaboration with the National Bison Day, held on November 2, 2019.
Chief Bill Follis expressed that tribal nations in Oklahoma contribute significantly to the school communities and local economies. This partnership is an example of a community working collaboratively to share Indian agriculture successes with youth and cafeteria staff. When the cafeteria staff feels empowered with helpful knowledge and resources, the meal just tastes that much better for the kids. Intertribal Agriculture Council supports Modoc Nation in their Farm to School efforts.
Learn more about Miami Public Schools here: http://miami.k12.ok.us/
Learn more about Modoc National of Oklahoma here: https://modocnation.com/