Oklahoma State University (OSU) Cooperative Extension and Osage Nation (ON) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to execute the FTREP Grant, a four-year renewable grant. Jann Hayman, DNR Director, and Manon Taylor, WIC Director, collaborated with Nancy Arnett and Donna Robbins at OSU Extension to obtain the grant funding.
This grant will provide economic benefits to the community and enable individual youths to become more productive citizens and leaders while giving back to their community, improving their lives and the lives of others. By building skill levels in the potential workforce, this will strengthen the workforce, which increases self-confidence for increased productivity and better citizenship. Most effective extension outreach methodology is 4-H Youth Development - both in the school and outside the school setting; Youth-Adult Partnership hands-on training that produces positive outcomes; program expansion into other related fields; disasters that might sidetrack progress for a period of time; other needed skills that may arise as citizens achieve success. The measure of success will be youth and adults improving life-skills making them better citizens. They will be better informed to make choices leading to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. Our youth, ON constituents, and ON employees will further develop skills focused on STEM related functions, natural resource conservation, and environmental concerns that allow the Nation to develop the foundation to manage the unique cultural resources that define an Osage's identity and connectivity to the land. Collectively, these functions will ensure that not only will they be successful, but also the Nation.
- Tribal youth and 4-H Youth Development go hand-in-hand. The basic life skills that 4-H teaches will better equip Osage Nation youth develop into better citizens, leaders and stewards of the land - today and in the future.
- Indian Farm and Ranch Productivity and Management: Osage Nation citizens will obtain the skills needed to raise healthy livestock by establishing the foundation for and implementing good basic management practices.
- Indian Community Development: Economic and Workforce development will assist youth to become more acquainted with employment opportunities and arm them with the skills to make those opportunities their reality. Food Systems, Farm and Community Markets will be developed to better serve the citizens of the Nation and to open doors for possible expansion of markets outside the boundaries of the Nation.
- Natural Resource Conservation and Adaptation to Environmental Changes: Practices will be implemented with tribal citizens to prepare for the future by conserving natural resources today. Human Nutrition and Reduction of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity is a problem everywhere. The goal will be to provide research based information to the youth and their parents to help change patterns of behavior for eating and exercise to make the youth healthier.
- Indian Cultural and Language Preservation; To equip younger citizens with the skills to successfully speak the language and be able to pass it on to future generations and incorporate Osage cultural teachings.
Two applicants have been selected for the grant positions:
- Branden Hanke is originally from Tuttle Ok and will be the part time educator for the FRTEP Grant. His family moved to South Coffeyville, OK when he was in 7th grade. Brandon was active in FFA at Oklahoma Union schools where he graduated in 2013. He attended NEO and was on the Horse Judging Team and then on to Missouri State University earning a Bachelor’s Degree in General Agriculture before being hired by OSU. Brandon was the youth pastor for the Quapaw First Baptist church for four years. He has a wife Sarah, and one-year old son Kasyn.
- Randi Rasberry is from Pawhuska and was hired by OSU to be the full time assistant for the FRTEP grant. She participated in Bluestem 4-H for five years then Blue and Gold 4-H club for three years. She participated in Pawhuska FFA throughout high school and as an Alumni is a member of the Pawhuska Ag Booster Club. Randi graduated from Northern Oklahoma College with an associate’s degree in Social Science in 2010. She is currently work towards her bachelor’s degree at Rogers State University in Bartlesville. Randi has two children: Jaxon, age six, and Kason, age three.