[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 234 (Tuesday, December 6, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76120-76121]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31235]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Establishment of the Council for Native American Farming and 
Ranching

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and Call for Nominations.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing the 
establishment of the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching 
(Council). The purpose of the Council is to provide recommendations to 
the Secretary on how to eliminate barriers to Native American 
participation in Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm loan programs and other 
farm programs. The Council will discuss issues related to the 
participation of Native American farmers and ranchers in USDA farm loan 
programs and transmit recommendations concerning any changes to FSA 
regulations or internal guidance or other measures. The Council is 
necessary and in the public interest. USDA is seeking nominations for 
individuals to be considered Council members. Candidates who wish to be 
considered for membership on the Council should submit an AD-755 
application form and resume to the Secretary of Agriculture. Cover 
letters should be addressed to the Secretary of Agriculture. The 
application form and more information about advisory Councils can be 
found at usda.gov/advisory_committees.xml.

DATES: Submit nominations on or before January 20, 2012.

ADDRESSES: All nomination materials should be mailed in a single, 
complete package and postmarked by January 20, 2012. Nominations may be 
submitted by mail to:
     Thomas Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC, 20250, Attn: Council on 
Native American Farmers and Ranchers.
     Send comments to the Office of Tribal Relations, 500A 
Whitten

[[Page 76121]]

Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 20250.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janie Simms Hipp, Senior Advisor, 
Tribal Relations or John Lowery, Management Analyst, Office of Tribal 
Relations. Email your questions to Janie.Hipp@osec.usda.gov or John 
Lowery at John.Lowery@osec.usda.gov or call (202) 205-2249.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the provisions of the 
Federal Advisory Council Act (FACA) as amended (5 U.S.C. App. 2) and 
with the concurrence of the General Services Administration, USDA is 
announcing the establishment of an advisory Council for Native American 
farmers and ranchers. The Council is a discretionary advisory Council 
established under the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture, in 
furtherance of the settlement agreement in Keepseagle v. Vilsack that 
was granted final approval by the District Court for the District of 
Columbia on April 28, 2011. The Council will operate under the 
provisions of the FACA and report to the Secretary of Agriculture.
    The purpose of the Council is (1) to advise the Secretary of 
Agriculture on issues related to the participation of Native American 
farmers and ranchers in USDA farm loan programs; (2) to transmit 
recommendations concerning any changes to FSA regulations or internal 
guidance or other measures that would eliminate barriers to program 
participation for Native American farmers and ranchers; (3) to examine 
methods of maximizing the number of new farming and ranching 
opportunities created through the farm loan program through enhanced 
extension and financial literacy services; (4) to examine methods of 
encouraging intergovernmental cooperation to mitigate the effects of 
land tenure and probate issues on the delivery of USDA farm loan 
programs; (5) to evaluate other methods of creating new farming or 
ranching opportunities for Native American producers; and (6) to 
address other related issues as deemed appropriate.
    The Council will have 15 members, 11 of whom will be Native 
American leaders or persons who represent the interests of Native 
American Tribes or Native American organizations. The term ``Native 
American leaders'' is not limited to elected Tribal representatives or 
members or persons with Native American ancestry. The remaining four 
members will be high-ranking USDA officials, including: (1) The Senior 
Advisor to the Secretary, Tribal Relations; (2) the Farm Service Agency 
Administrator; (3) the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; and (4) 
the Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs, or their delegates.
    Members shall serve without compensation, but may receive 
reimbursement for travel expenses and per diem in accordance with USDA 
travel regulations for attendance at Council functions. Council members 
who represent the interests of Native American farmers and ranchers may 
also be paid an amount not less than $100 per day for time spent away 
from their employment or farming or ranching operation, subject to the 
availability of funds. Members may include:
     Native American farmers or ranchers who have participated 
in USDA loan or payment programs;
     Representatives of organizations with a history of working 
with Native American farmers or ranchers;
     Civil rights professionals;
     Representatives of Tribal governments with demonstrated 
experience working with Native American farmers or ranchers; and
     Such other persons as the Secretary considers appropriate.

No individual who is currently registered as a Federal lobbyist is 
eligible to serve as a member of the Council.
    The Secretary of Agriculture invites those individuals, 
organizations, and groups affiliated with the categories listed above 
or who have knowledge of issues related to the purpose of the Council 
to nominate individuals for membership on the Council. Individuals and 
organizations who wish to nominate experts for this or any other USDA 
advisory Council should submit a letter to the Secretary listing these 
individuals' names and business address, phone, and email contact 
information. The Secretary of Agriculture seeks a diverse group of 
members representing a broad spectrum of persons interested in 
providing suggestions and ideas on how USDA can tailor its farm 
programs to meet the needs of Native American farmers and ranchers. 
Individuals receiving nominations will be contacted and asked to return 
the AD-755 application form and resume within 10 business days of 
notification. All candidates will be vetted and considered for 
appointment by the Secretary of Agriculture. Equal opportunity 
practices will be followed in all appointments to the Council in 
accordance with USDA policies. The Council will meet at least twice a 
year.

    Dated: December 1, 2011.
Thomas J. Vilsack,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2011-31235 Filed 12-5-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-01-P