Navajo Agricultural Products Industry Helps Tribe’s General Fund With $1 Million Payout

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FARMINGTON – The Navajo Farm Products Industry has distributed $1 million in company profits to the Navajo Nation.

Board members and NAPI officials presented the dividend payment Oct. 6 to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer and Navajo Nation Council Delegate Rick Nez.

The amount will go to the tribe’s general fund to help provide direct services and fund day-to-day operations, according to a press release from the president’s office.

The presentation was made outdoors and with a small number of employees in attendance, according to the tribal business.

The company also used a two-way radio to broadcast the event to staff working at various locations on the farm, seven miles south of Farmington.

NAPI Board Chairman Peter Deswood III said NAPI employees continue to develop the vision and dream that Navajo leaders had when they established the agricultural area 50 years ago.

“As descendants, we are here as people taking care of this farm and growing every year,” Deswood said.

Tribal officials praised NAPI for developing its brand of products, known as Navajo Pride.

Nez mentioned that bags of Navajo Pride flour were recently featured on “The Ellen Degeneres Show.” During the September 30 episode, two bags of flour were used in a baking segment of the show.

“The Navajo Pride label is now seen by others across the country since it’s been on TV, and it should be commended by your team for getting it on a national show. It shows Navajo people are capable of being self-sufficient and self-sufficient in getting their product all over the country and around the world,” Nez said in a video of the event that NAPI posted on Facebook.

Lizer further commended Tribal Enterprise board members and employees for working to grow and market the Navajo Pride brand.

The vice president also mentioned the economic potential a proposed railroad could create for NAPI and other businesses on tribal lands.

The Navajo Nation signed a memorandum of understanding with San Juan County in February to partner in the development of a potential railroad from Farmington to Gallup, according to Daily Times records.

Lizer mentioned the idea in remarks at the event, calling it an economic opportunity for the tribe and surrounding communities.

“Imagine if we put our minds together, what projects can we carry out,” he said.

Steward Rick Nez mentioned that the Resources and Development Committee has authorized a land lease for NAPI for the past few years.

“I was so happy that he came through DRC,” he said.

Rick Nez, who is chair of the committee, sponsored the bill in 2019 authorizing the first phase of the comprehensive master farm lease.

“I know it takes a lot of humble leadership to be honest about things and people support you that way. We did everything for the workers and the Navajo Nation,” the delegate said.

The press release from the president’s office said NAPI also contributed $1 million earlier this year to help the tribe in its COVID-19 response efforts, in addition to donating food, hay and equipment. other resources to communities on tribal lands.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for the Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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This article originally appeared on Farmington Daily Times: Navajo Agricultural Products Industry Helps Tribe’s General Fund with $1 Million Payout

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