Search for Excellence in Livestock Production

Juan Arias
Assistant Agent, FRTEP Tribal Extension Programs
University of Arizona
FRTEP Tribal Extension Programs

Arias, J.*1, , Greene B2, , Wright A3, , Brawley N4,
1 Assistant Agent, FRTEP Tribal Extension Programs, University of Arizona, Globe, AZ, 85501
2 Extension Equine Specialist, , Tucson, AZ, 85721
3 Livestock Agent, , Vail, AZ, 85641
4 Livestock Agent, , Safford, AZ, 85546

The San Carlos Apache Livestock/Equine Resource Program was developed and implemented to address local needs for the Tribe and their ranching community. Effective communication is best achieved through developing relationships and listening to their stories, which is a strong part of their language and passing of knowledge. From these storytelling conversations, high-priority topics for the cattle/equine health/management workshops were identified through existing relationships and meetings. In response to this input from local leaders and tribal entities’, a series of workshops, development of resources, and implementation of outreach programs were initiated to establish livestock, equine, and agricultural education specifically geared towards the Apache rancher needs. The activities and resources included: educational seminars, hands-on workshops, development of a San Carlos Apache Rancher Resource Guide and a biosecurity poster translated to Western Apache language, and creation of “starter first aid kits” for horses and livestock for ranching families. All of these things were created in collaboration and partnership with Apache Cattle Association and the Apache Language Preservation program. This resulted in a consultation with several Apache cattle association members and livestock owners to increase Livestock/Equine support and interest through language adaptation, bringing in local examples using available resources, and developing relationships to strengthen community trust. Several tools and resources were adapted to help gain traction and support from local leaders. The program presented opportunities to adapt current practices and evolved them to more efficient traditional methods using local resources and practices in the area. The relationships established led to language adaptation tools developed, resources applicable for the program's foundation, and future projects to come. Since most important information is received through storytelling, the major impacts come from quotes from tribal members. The program's impact is demonstrated by the President of the San Carlos Cattle Association’s words: “This is the right direction to get members involved and reconnected to their operations. It is a way to remind them that this is part of their culture.”