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IFAI’s policy and research team monitors the Federal Register for updates, notices, information, events, and more that are important or could impact Indian Country. The listings are broken down into three categories:

  • Announcements

  • Rule/Policy Updates

  • Nominations

Annoucements| Rule/Policy Updates| Nominations

Announcements

These are Federal Register notices about upcoming Tribal Consultations, listening sessions, public meetings, and funding opportunities as well as policy updates.

Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committee

Description of Nomination: The advisory committee will advise the Secretary of Agriculture on Title II projects that provide critical funding for schools, roads, and other municipal services to more than 700 counties across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The committee will serve for two years unless renewed by the Secretary.  

Deadline for submission: Nominations will be accepted by March 17, 2024.

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Federal Communication Commission Task Force

Description of the Nomination Opportunity: The Task Force provides advice and recommendations to the Federal Communication Commission on how to assess and advance the deployment of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land to promote precision agriculture. The working groups will include consideration of how connectivity can improve sustainability in agricultural production.

Deadline for submission: Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis. until all positions are filled.

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Proposed Revisions to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices

Agency: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Action: Request for Comments re Proposed Revisions to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices by March 4, 2024.

Why it matters: NRCS is providing an opportunity for the public to provide comments on revisions to the conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. NRCS is proposing revisions to conservation practice standards such as Field Border (Code 386), Grazing Management (Code 528), and Wetland Restoration (Code 657). This has been a priority for the Regional Tribal Conservation Advisory Council. 

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Notice of Semiannual Regulatory Agenda for Fall of 2023

Agency: USDA Office of the Secretary

Action: Notice of Semiannual Regulatory Agenda

Why it matters: This semiannual agenda provides a summary of significant and non-significant regulations being developed in USDA. This provides an opportunity for Tribal Nations and organizations to monitor federal regulations that may impact Tribal food and agriculture. 

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Request for Comments re Proposed Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects

Agency: DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs

Action: Request for Comments by April 8, 2024.

Why it matters: The Bureau of Indian Affairs has to establish irrigation assessment rates to recover the costs of administering, operating, maintaining, and rehabilitating irrigation projects. This notice affects those who own or lease land within the assessable acreage of one of BIA’s irrigation projects or those who have a carriage agreement with one of BIA’s irrigation projects. Rate adjustments will be effective for the 2024 calendar year. 

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Request for Comments re SNAP-Ed Intervention Submission Form and Scoring Tool

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Action: Request for Comments; Submission deadline is April 2, 2024.

Why it matters: Revisions to the SNAP-Ed Intervention Scoring Tool and SNAP-Ed Intervention Submission Form are intended to improve user experience by simplifying scoring criteria and clarifying the information requested for certain fields. The Submission Form and Scoring Tool are designed to enable SNAP-Ed implementers and the review committee to determine if the intervention submitted for inclusion in the SNAP-Ed Toolkit is evidence-based and uses one or more of the required approaches. 

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Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Value-Added Producer Grants for FY2024

Agency: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Action: Notice of Funding Opportunity; Application deadline is April 11, 2024

Why it matters: This grant program is intended for Independent Producers, Agricultural Producer Groups, Farmer and Rancher Cooperatives, and Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Businesses to start or expand value-added activities related to processing and/or marketing of Value-Added Agricultural Products. RBCS estimates that approximately $30 million will be made available for FY2024.  

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Submission for OMB Review re National 4-H Conference Registration, Leadership Interest Position, and Scholarship Interest Forms

Agency: USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Action: Request for Comments by January 12, 2024

Why it matters: NIFA will use the collected information to plan and carry out the National 4-H Conference which is designed to develop the next generation of leaders and increase familiarity with government and future career opportunities. Information collected will include leadership background, contact information, activity and dietary preferences, eligibility requirements and parental/ guardian consent.

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Self-Governance PROGRESS Act Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

Agency: DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs

Action: Notice of Public Meetings on December 20, 2023; January 18, February 8, and February 29, 2024.

Why it matters: The public meetings are being held to obtain recommendations for a proposed rule that will inform the Secretary of Interior’s implementation of the Practical Reforms and Other Goals to Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self-Governance and Self-Determination for Indian Tribes Act of 2019 (PROGRESS Act).

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Rule/Policy Updates

These are Federal Register notices about rules, regulations, and policy updates that have potential impacts to Tribal food and agriculture and provide opportunities for public comments or feedback. 

Proposed Revisions to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices

Agency: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Action: Request for Comments re Proposed Revisions to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices by March 4, 2024.

Why it matters: NRCS is providing an opportunity for the public to provide comments on revisions to the conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. NRCS is proposing revisions to conservation practice standards such as Field Border (Code 386), Grazing Management (Code 528), and Wetland Restoration (Code 657). This has been a priority for the Regional Tribal Conservation Advisory Council. 

View Details

Request for Comments re Proposed Rate Adjustments for Indian Irrigation Projects

Agency: DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs

Action: Request for Comments by April 8, 2024.

Why it matters: The Bureau of Indian Affairs has to establish irrigation assessment rates to recover the costs of administering, operating, maintaining, and rehabilitating irrigation projects. This notice affects those who own or lease land within the assessable acreage of one of BIA’s irrigation projects or those who have a carriage agreement with one of BIA’s irrigation projects. Rate adjustments will be effective for the 2024 calendar year. 

View Details

Request for Comments re SNAP-Ed Intervention Submission Form and Scoring Tool

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Action: Request for Comments; Submission deadline is April 2, 2024.

Why it matters: Revisions to the SNAP-Ed Intervention Scoring Tool and SNAP-Ed Intervention Submission Form are intended to improve user experience by simplifying scoring criteria and clarifying the information requested for certain fields. The Submission Form and Scoring Tool are designed to enable SNAP-Ed implementers and the review committee to determine if the intervention submitted for inclusion in the SNAP-Ed Toolkit is evidence-based and uses one or more of the required approaches. 

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Nominations

Including Native voices and perspectives to inform federal agencies through committees and boards is critical to addressing the unique needs of Indian Country. Check out this curated list of current opportunities, and please reach out with any questions: agpolicy@uark.edu.

Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory Committee

Description of Nomination: The advisory committee will advise the Secretary of Agriculture on Title II projects that provide critical funding for schools, roads, and other municipal services to more than 700 counties across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The committee will serve for two years unless renewed by the Secretary.  

Deadline for submission: Nominations will be accepted by March 17, 2024.

View Details

Federal Communication Commission Task Force

Description of the Nomination Opportunity: The Task Force provides advice and recommendations to the Federal Communication Commission on how to assess and advance the deployment of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land to promote precision agriculture. The working groups will include consideration of how connectivity can improve sustainability in agricultural production.

Deadline for submission: Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis. until all positions are filled.

View Details