CIT Programs Gain National Recognition

Aug 15th, 1998 | By | Category: 10-1: Teaching Math and Science, Tribal College News

Crownpoint Institute of Technology’s reputation as one of the Navajo Nation’s primary catalysts for change continues to grow, according to CIT President James Tutt. The school enters its 20th anniversary year with nationally recognized agriculture programs, thanks to Kellogg and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants.

Three W. K. Kellogg Foundation grants support capacity building, program and curriculum building, and an Early Childhood Development program. Development Officer Jay R. DeGroat’s goal is to raise $15 million in endowment funds by the year 2000. He plans to establish an endowment board to oversee these funds. Hugh Williams has joined the faculty as head of the Small Business Development program. In addition to teaching the basics of entrepreneurship, Williams will focus on the complexities of business start-up on the reservation. The school also has begun an Alternative Livestock program—the only such program offered in the United States—for teaching production and management of elk, buffalo, llama, and ratite birds.

Dr. Clinton Balok, who initiated the program, recently received the 1998 USDA Secretary’s honor award for his work developing the CIT veterinarian assistant program (see TCJ, Summer 1997, pp 36-38.) Secretary Dan Glickman said, “These awards are the most significant recognition the department can bestow to acknowledge outstanding contributions to agriculture.” CIT’s agriculture and livestock programs are supported by several USDA grants. One supports extension and 4-H programs for the Crownpoint community with extension agent Nathan Fuchs as coordinator. A USDA rural community development grant focuses on improving livestock genetics on the reservation.

CIT collaborates with area cattle ranchers to establish artificial insemination and embryo transplant programs. Ranchers will donate a percentage of the resulting calves to CIT, some as a foundation for a registered Angus herd. Others will be used as 4-H projects in the new extension program.

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