KYKOTSMOVI -- Farming and Ranching were the topics of the day at the recent Ranchers Workshop at the Kykotsmovi Community Center.-- Hopi Tribal Chairman Ivan Sidney opened the Workshop event with a welcome and thank you for their commitment to farming and ranching.-- "It must be up to you to provide the direction on how we can deal with our land and cattle resources," Chairman Sidney said.
Topics discussed at the meeting included current beef marketing trends, natural resource conservation, FSA loans, livestock census District 6 permitting, grazing fees, drought management, and animal identification programs.--
Presenters included Trent Teegerstrom from the Arizona Cooperative Extension Service, Blythe Koyiyumptewa from the Hopi Natural Resources Department, Connie Skinner from Farm Service Administration, Jim Sprinkle from the Gila County Extension Services, Steve Manheimer with USDA's Statistic Service, Priscilla Pavatea, Director ORM, and Pam Lalo, HVS Veterinary Technician.
The audience waited in anticipation as Hopi Tribal Vice Chairman Todd Honyaoma Sr., also a farmer and rancher, who had the honor of announcing this year's Farmer of the Year and Rancher of the Year. Prior to announcing this year's awardees, Vice Chairman Honyaoma Sr. briefly spoke about the historical importance of farming to the Hopi's and the new importance ranching plays in the economic scheme of the Hopi Tribe.--
"This year the Hopi people face a drought.-- Farmers and ranchers provide a strong economic base for Hopi.-- We are concerned about the impact the drought will have on our Hopi farmers and ranchers.-- We will watch the situation carefully" said Vice Chairman Honyaoma Sr.
"I am honored to announce this year's "Hopi Farmer of the Year" and "Hopi Rancher of the Year" said Vice Chairman Honyaoma Sr.-- "This year's Honoree for Farmer of the Year is Davis Fred Pecusa of Bacabi" announced Vice Chairman Honoyaoma Sr.--
Davis Fred Pecusa is a member of the Hopi Tribal Council.
"I am personally aware of the care and time Davis devotes to his farm and ranch," continued Vice Chairman Honyaoma Sr.
"I am honored to announce the award for Rancher of the Year as well," said Vice Chairman Honyaoma Sr.-- "This individual started ranching in the early '80s.-- He is very active in our tribal committees.-- This rancher has also served as a member of the Conservation District in Moencopi.-- Knowledge on ranching was passed down to him from his father.-- It is my privilege to announce Gilbert Naseyowma as Rancher of the Year" said Vice Chairman Honyaoma Sr.
Following the presentations Dennis Becenti, Ranger Management Supervisor, introduced his staff that oversees the various farming and ranching land areas.-- Each employee presented a brief review of their assigned area of responsibility.---- Following the brief but informative presentations, Steve Manheimer from the USDA Statistics Service, discussed the need for an accurate agriculture survey of farmers and ranchers.-- According to Manheimer "the survey will help the State of Arizona with funding."
"Decisions on establishing USDA offices such as the one located in Winslow are based on agricultural statistics.-- IN the past we have counted Indian tribes as one entity rather than counting each farmer and rancher.-- It is important each rancher and farmer are counted.-- In the future if a tribe requests placement of a USDA office on the reservation these statistics would be utilized" said Manheimer.
Closing the program was Pam Lalo, HVS Veterinary Technician program was Pam Lalo, HVS Veterinary Technician. Ms. Lalo demonstrated sample ear tags that will be utilized by Hop in the Animal Identification Program.-- At present tagging the animals with the new tag button is voluntary, however, in 2007 the law mandates the use of tagging for purpose of tracking the origination of livestock, mainly mad cows's disease, to protect the Hopi livestock.
"We received some grant funds to purchase tags for the voluntary program," Lalo said.-- "We presently have 1,000 tags and they are available free of charge to Hopi ranchers at this time.-- We will not have free tags available in the future."
Major discussions centered on the drought facing Hopi.-- The lack of water and food for forage is having an impact on grazinig areas and the livestock.-- Cutting back on the number of livestock and moving livestock to high ground as well hauling water were some of the discussions between the cattlemen.--
"This workshop is mainly focused on the drought," Becenti said.-- "We are in the tenth year of the drought.-- We thought the 2002 drought was bad but the year facing us may be worse.-- We didn't have last summer's moisture or this past year's moisture.-- That means our forage projection is lower than anticipated."
"The drought is reaching epidemic proportions which is now in front of Hopi.-- We are encouraging Hopi Ranchers and Farmers to ask for an extension of the Federal Drought Act" said Becenti.