Native Agriculture was a major track at the 2020 Reservation Economic Summit, which took place in March in Las Vegas. We featured several sessions focused on Native American agriculture, and many of our trade show vendors are growing products on tribal lands that are sold across the country, as well as beyond our borders. Today, we chatted with one of those companies – Tallchief Hemp and its founder, JC Seneca – about their experience at RES 2020. Tallchief Hemp is based on the Seneca Nation in New York, and produces CBD products. Learn more about Tallchief Hemp and their RES experience below!
1. Tell us a little bit about Tallchief Hemp.
At Tallchief Hemp, we strive to fuel your journey with pure, effective and premium CBD products. We are based out of the Sovereign Onöndowa’ga:’ (Seneca) Territory, just miles South of Buffalo, NY. The regions of New York where Iroquois people reside was once filled with fields of hemp, so we have a long history with the plant. Tallchief Hemp was created so that people could benefit from hemp’s natural properties once again. We are able to supply a safe and consistent product, which is backed up by a third-party laboratory test to ensure the safety and accuracy of each dose. CBD has amazing benefits - it is “Mother Earth’s Medicine” and we are happy to help spread the wellness to advance healthy living in body, mind, and spirit for all.
2. How was your experience at RES 2020? What was the most helpful aspect of the conference?
RES 2020 was a great success for Tallchief Hemp. We always enjoy the experience and the positive energy that flows throughout every session and then on to the expo floor. The most helpful aspect is the trade floor, it allows us to network and make sales face to face while displaying our products for everyone to see.
3. Why is it important for tribes and Native entrepreneurs to be involved in agriculture?
It's where we come from. It's always been one of our main components as Native people - to supply food to everyone in our community. There are lots of opportunities to create revenue for tribes and for Native entrepreneurs seeking new revenues and ways to with the land.
4. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs interested in getting into the agriculture sector?
Do your do diligence and make sure to research. Put a plan together, know how much it will cost, create contacts, and evaluate the people you are going to do business with. Know your biggest challenges and opportunities, and identify a market that you can sell to immediately.
5. How has COVID-19 affected your business?
We've had to adapt to the many changes set forth by COVID-19 by putting in safeguards to protect our customers and employees. We make sure to have a safe environment and try to become more efficient. In the beginning, we had fewer customers but made sure to conduct business in a profitable manner so we could sustain ourselves during a time where people weren't traveling to do business. The pandemic has made us more conscious of the little things, which has helped us become a better business.
6. Where can we learn more about/purchase your products?
7. Anything else you want to share?
Thank you to The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development for putting on RES. It is great to network with old friends and make new connections, and we enjoy the opportunity it presents us to do business with tribes across the country. RES has been a useful place for us to let people know about Tallchief Hemp and what we are working on out here on the Seneca Nation. We look forward to the next RES conference.