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UNCE’s ’People of the Land’ wins national award

Posted 6/28/2010

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s "People of the Land," a self-paced, eight-chapter curriculum examining the historical, social and economic attributes of Indian reservations within a four-state region of the West, has earned the prestigious Gold Award from The Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP). This is the highest award given by this organization in their national publication competition.

It is the second national award in recent months for the 2009 publication written by Extension Educators Staci Emm of Mineral County and Loretta Singletary of Lyon County. Emm and Singletary will both be in Fairbanks June 27-30 to accept their award at the 7th Natural Resource Extension Professionals Conference at the University of Alaska.

"People of the Land" also was a top winner in the National Association of County Agricultural Agents’ Communications Awards Program in May 2010. In July, the authors travel to Tulsa, Okla., to attend that awards ceremony. While there, Emma and Singletary will represent the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) as program ambassadors and visit with tribal officials with the Cherokee and Creek nations.

"People of the Land" is designed to help agricultural and natural resource professionals work more effectively with American Indian farmers and ranchers in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

"This is a terrific honor for Staci and Loretta," UNCE Southern Area Director Jerry Buk said of the ANREP award. "Some of the best educational materials in the country are entered in this contest, so this shows just how great a publication ’People of the Land’ is."

The two researchers’ curriculum is the result of a three-year quality-of-life assessment of American Indians and the U. S. Department of Agriculture professionals who work with them. While government officials have said they have trouble helping Indian farmers and ranchers develop sustainable agriculture and natural resource management skills on reservation land, tribal leaders have expressed their desire to strengthen agriculture on Indian lands.

The Cooperative Extension study by Emm and Singletary identified a "knowledge gap" that indicated the need to improve understanding and appreciation of individual tribal histories and cultures in order to work more effectively with tribes.

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