Hmong farmers from all over the country met in Fresno today to discuss current challenges, seek services and share farming tips. Valley Public Radio’s Diana Aguilera reports how the group is now reaching other minority communities hoping to transcend cultural boundaries.
Hmong American farmers have held this type of conference for the last five years. It’s a place where small farmers can find the support and services they’re looking for. But now, it’s reaching farmers beyond the Hmong community. They’re joining forces with Latinos.
Chukou Thao spearheaded the movement.
“That’s a big deal, we needed to unify our voice because they tried to separate us but we don’t see ourselves as two different organizations. Our mission is one: try to feed our families.”
Lideres Campesinas is their new partnership. They’re a statewide group of women farmers and farmworkers.
Maria Rebolledo from Hollister is one of them. She’s been a small farmer for 20 years.
“By listening to what’s going on with them I’m learning that we have the same obstacles and barriers that we are having as agricultural farmers.”
The drought has everyone struggling. But besides that, many small farmers came from different countries and are learning to adapt to U.S. farming regulations.
Others including Filipino and African American small farmers also attended and spoke at the conference.