DINÉ SMALL FARM AND RANCH DEVELOPMENT This project is a multi-partner initiative focused on creating and replicating model farms and ranches where cultural teachings are integrated into agricultural training and technical assistance for subsistence and market producers across Navajo Nation. Our project goal is to work with the communities of Tolani Lake, Leupp, and Birdsprings, Arizona, Chapters in the Western Agency of Navajo Nation to learn and practice growing food in a sustainable manner, to rebuild Native American food security, improve community health, and revitalize area gardens and farms as sources of nutritious locally grown food, enterprise opportunities, and safe places to share traditional teachings and build relationships among family and community. read more....


During the last several years there has been a growing interest, especially among the younger generations, in making the Navajo economy more diverse and resilient by reviving the Navajo Nation’s small organic farming sector. There has been a slow yet significant increase in the number of community vegetable gardens, family farms, and experimental/pilot demonstration farms. These initiatives are encouraging in that there is movement in the right direction.



The need for businesses is grave on the Navajo Nation. According to the 2009-2010 Navajo Nation Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, the Navajo Nation’s unemployment rate increased over a seven-year period from 42.16% in 2001 to 50.52% in 2007. Many Diné families raise sheep and goats for subsistence purposes. TLE’s emerging Sheep Economy Program is designed to build the capacity of sheep and goat producers, to increase the quality of their herds, and to provide technical assistance.



We are implementing our K’idaadiilyehii Youth Program, which translates to “the ones who plant” because the Navajo origin stories relate to a time of starvation for the people, and their only survival was growing their own foods. Metaphorically, our youth have the ability to influence our current diet from a starvation of nutrient based foods that correlate with health problems like diabetes and obesity; which we believe our youth can change our health by cultivating locally grown traditional foods.

Help Us Reduce Diabetes On Navajo Through Healthy Eating!

Even the small things make a difference!

43% of Navajos live below the poverty line.
42%-In 2016, unemployment was 42% and median household income was $24,945 compared to $56,516 in the U.S.

“Helping Indigenous Communities Grow Our Own”

“Helping Indigenous Communities Grow Our Own”

33% of Navajos are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
75% of 45,000 acres developed for surface-irrigated farms are idle.
Helping Indigenous Communities Grow Our Own

We have many challenges here on Navajo. Poor soil, scarce water, lack of economic opportunities. I could go on and on, but what is more important is what we are going to do about it?

TLE seeks sustainable, culturally grounded solutions by integrating traditional teachings and modern technology.

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Resource exploitation, ignorance, climate change are some of the factors that has brought us to our present condition, and it will take a multi-faceted approach to find a workable solution.

The Sihasin Garden is our 3-acre demonstration growing site that highlights
methods to improve your soil, growing in a hoop-house and raised beds,
season extender methods, seed starting, and drip irrigation.

Our workshops center includes traditional and contemporary growing methods,
food safety, food preservation and preparation, improving the quality of your sheep,
agricultural business practices, and so much more.

Our partnerships with local and regional grassroots organizations build on
a unified commitment to food sovereignty, protecting our water, land stewardship,
our youth and elders, and sustaining our traditional values and language.

By joining our volunteer corps, you can be a part of positive change
in our communities, learn valuable skills, experience what it takes
to impact your friends and family in meaningful ways, and do something
you are passionate about.