Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition FM89's Ezra David Romero reports on how officials in the Fresno area prepping for possible flooding from a looming El Niño. Meteorologist and Fresno State Lecturer Sean Boyd explains what's conjuring up what could be an answer to California's drought. /

The Hmong are a resilient people. Forty years after many of them were outed from Laos they have scattered across the globe as refugees. In America the two largest populations of Hmong people are in the Central Valley and in Twin Cities, Minnesota.

In this interview KVPR’S Ezra David Romero chats with Fresno State Anthropologist Kao-Ly Yang who’s studied the Hmong people for decades. She says each of these communities mirrors the man who helped establish the Hmong people in each region.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Forty years ago the Hmong people began seeking refuge in the United States after the CIA recruited a guerrilla army of Hmong people to fight the North Vietnamese in Laos in what’s known as the Secret War. Before coming to the US they spent years in refugee camps in Thailand. Thousands of those refugees made it to America where their lives changed forever. FM89’s Ezra David Romero speaks with a Hmong family who made the journey and has no desire to return to their homeland.

On this week's show – it’s been 40 years since the Hmong people came to California’s San Joaquin Valley. We’ll find out how the local community is planning on marking the occasion and hear the story of one family’s journey from Laos to California.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

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.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we discuss drought, almonds and much more. The program begins with a piece by KVPR Reporter Jeffrey Hess on how the implementation of high speed rail in California is affecting businesses and homeowners in Central California. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Many small farmers have success selling their produce at farmers markets, but selling to larger food distributors can be difficult. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports on a new project that hopes to connect one group of Southeast Asian growers with Bay Area buyers.


Small Hmong farms dot Fresno County growing specialty crops like the red date jujube, lemon grass and bitter melon. But more often than not, these farmers lack the resources and the know how to get their produce to larger markets.  

This week on Valley Writers Read, author Burlee Vang reads his story “Polaroids of Tom.”  The story is about the author's younger brother Tom who was born with a fatal deformity.  He lived for only a week.   And then we learn that when his mother went to get a re-fill for the medicine she'd been taking, she was told  it was the wrong medicine.  So we're left to wonder if the medicine she'd been taking had anything to do with the baby's demise.

Heyday Books

This week on Valley Writers Read, Joel Pickford reads from his book “Soul Calling, a Photographic Journey Through the Hmong Diaspora.”  The author gives us a great deal of information about the Hmong community of Central California.  He tells us about their lives in prison camps after the Vietnam War, and how many escaped to Thailand and then came to America.

This week on Valley Edition we talk about the issues of drought, changing culture among Hmong youth, the health of public forests and more.

Leading the program, Moore speaks with Lois Henry of the Bakersfield Californian and Kerman farmer Paul Betancourt about the drought, farmers fallowing fields, well drilling and more.