Lance Morgan, president and chief executive officer of Ho-Chunk, Inc., the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska's economic arm, will participate in the White House Rural Council Native American Food and Agriculture Roundtable Discussion on Thursday, April 5 at the White House.
The roundtable discussion will address various issues related to fostering food and agricultural economic development, including leasing, technical assistance, strategic business planning and access to capital, credit and other financial resources. Participants will be given the opportunity to provide senior policy advisors with specific ideas promoting agricultural business in Indian Country—especially related to administrative fixes that could reduce barriers to food development.
The Rural Council, established by President Barack Obama in June, provides a forum to discuss policy initiatives and job creation in rural America and aims to increase the effectiveness of federal engagement with tribal governments. With Thursday's roundtable, the council is seeking guidance from tribal leaders and experts in Indian Country on food and agricultural economic development. The Council is chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
“It is a real privilege to have a voice with senior policy advisors to the President and the Cabinet with our ideas on how to encourage food and agriculture opportunities in Indian Country,” Morgan said in a statement. “This roundtable once again allows the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska to take an important leadership role in shaping the future of rural economic development in Indian Country.”
The Obama Administration previously honored Morgan in July 2011 by selecting him as one of 18 persons from 15 states to share their ideas directly with President Obama. Morgan recommended ways to strengthen rural communities as a participant in the White House Rural Champions of Change event. He was chosen for his leadership in building and expanding upon business development and strengthening the local economy in Dakota and Thurston counties in Nebraska, states a Ho-Chunk press release. Ho-Chunk runs 26 subsidiaries with operations in 11 states, Washington D.C. and 5 foreign countries, and employs more than 1,400 people. Among the tribe's enterprises, located both on and off the reservation, are information technology, construction, government contracting, green energy, retail, wholesale distribution, marketing, media and transportation.