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Janie Simms Hipp, J.D., LL.M.
1955 -

Janie Simms Hipp has worked in agricultural law for nearly 40 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in social work from the University of Oklahoma, a Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law and a Master of Laws in agricultural and food law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

As a First American, she was the first enrolled tribal citizen to serve as general counsel for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). She is also one of only four women to occupy that position since 1905.

Hipp was the founding CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund, the largest philanthropy focused on First American agriculture, founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and a national program leader at the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture. She served as the senior adviser for tribal relations to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the founding director of the USDA Office of Tribal Relations.

She has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by the University of Arkansas and the Oklahoma City School of Law. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Agricultural Law Association, the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from U.S. President Barack Obama, the 2021 Congressional Hunger Center Trailblazer Hunger Leadership Award and the Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year Award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. Hipp was also recognized as “The Honored One” at the Sovereignty Symposium.

Hipp served on numerous boards throughout her career including the Oklahoma Association of Women Lawyers, the Arkansas Women in Agriculture, the American Indian Center of Arkansas, the Farmers’ Legal Action Group and the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Administrative Council. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and Oklahoma Bar Association.

Hipp currently serves as CEO and president of Native Agriculture Financial Services (NAFS), a national organization assisting First American farmers and ranchers with specialized lending and enhanced capital access.

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