About Us

About Us

The San Xavier Cooperative Farm (SXCF, or the Farm) was established in 1971. The farm is managed and operated by the San Xavier Cooperative Association (SXCA, or the Co-op). The SXCA is a non-profit organization. The San Xavier Cooperative Association board members are elected by land allottees, whose lands are leased to the SXCA.  Presently, the Co-op leases about 1,700 acres of farmland. The Farm stretches west of the Santa Cruz River and north of the San Xavier Mission. These lands are the traditional farmlands for numerous families in the earlier days. The objective of the Co-op is to 1) promote and improve the education, social conditions, and economic welfare of its members, and 2) foster the business of farming and livestock: its production and products. The Co-op is designed to put fractional interests in allotments together for the purpose of ranching, farming, and to generate income for the allottees. Presently, the San Xavier Cooperative Farm produces quality chemical-free alfalfa hay, dry goods, and traditional crops such as beans, corn, squash, peas, and melons. The Farm also grows herbal plants, specialty crops, devil’s claw, and plants trees such as pomegranate, fig, and mesquite. SXCF distributes its produce to local schools, the community, food manufacturers, and retailers located in Arizona.

The San Xavier Cooperative Association (SXCA) is committed to healthy farming practices and growing traditional crops to support the cultural and environmental values, as well as support economic development within the community.
The San Xavier Cooperative Association envisions a farm committed to sustainable farming practices consistent with O’odham culture and supporting economic development in the community. The farm will provide meaningful employment and training, as well as, raw materials to support self-employment, cottage industries, and arts and crafts. An emphasis will be placed on producing traditional food crops to encourage the return to a healthy diet for the O’odham. Other field and cash crops will be developed, with priority given to preserving the natural environment and promoting the health of the O’odham. The farm’s goals are to make sustainable, efficient, and profitable use of its resources for the longevity and self-sufficiency of the community.
The logo of the San Xavier Coop Farm is a shield with a traditional planting stick, and feathers for a blessing. The central sprouting seed, “new life”, is surrounded by our native seed varieties of beans, corn, melon, and squash.
The four sections stand for the four directions (i.e. north, east, west, and south) and the four seasons (i.e. summer, spring, winter, and fall), which contain the cycles of the sun, rain, moon, and wildlife.
The birds and bugs are both symbols of destructive and helpful natural forces. The balance of all these elements brings success to the seedlings and the Farm.
The San Xavier Cooperative Farm considers the following aspects (and others) of the Tohono O’odham Himdag, or Way of Life, to ensure that decisions in the farm’s rehabilitation project are consistent with the culture.

Respect For Land
  • Improve health of land each year through wise use of available resources, including CAP water
  • Use existing topographical characteristics of land in determining designs and water systems
  • Analyze results of soil tests…
  • Avoid use of herbicides, pesticides, and other harmful substances.

Sacredness Of Water
  • While CAP water has value, the Tohono O’odham culture teaches the younger generations that water is sacred, as the culture is built around the calling for, and celebration of, the coming of rain
  • Harvest rainwater
  • Dilute CAP water to avoid damage to soil
  • Perform ceremonies of thanks for all water

Respect For Elders
  • Serve as a venue for Elders to pass on traditional knowledge about farming and the Himdag
  • Make traditional food crops available to help the community achieve a state of wellness
  • Provide volunteers to help distribute of seasonal harvests
  • Create stronger ties throughout the community, especially between Elders and younger generations

Respect For Animals
  • Acknowledge the usefulness of animals who pollinate crops, aerate the soil, and rejuvenate the mineral content of the land
  • Develop a farm plan that includes attracting pollinators to assist with growing crops
  • Include the assistance of underground animals and micro biotic organisms in the plan for the successful growing of crops
  • Use a method of controlling “pests” that do not harm the beneficial animals

Respect For Plants
  • Provide opportunities to enhance successful harvests with ceremonies throughout the growing season
  • Grow crops the were developed by those “Who Have Gone Before”, which supplemented the foods of the tohono we collected
  • Grow crops, such as wild flowers and native plants, whose seed can be sold for use in rehabilitating the land
  • Grow mesquite trees, which can provide food, be used for building purposes, as firewood, for the construction of furniture, and as material for artisans