Minnesota’s Hmong Farmers Drive Local Food Economy
Posted On: September 26, 2018
A VOA Article reports: “Hmong farmers in St. Paul, Minnesota have the best advocate for their business enterprises: themselves, working together.
Originally from China, the Hmong are an Asian ethnic group that migrated to Vietnam and Laos in the 18th century. They have never had a country of their own. After the Vietnam War ended, many resettled in the U.S., giving the U.S. the largest Hmong population outside of Asia. The population in Minnesota is more than 60,000, second behind the state of California.
The Hmong, who are long time farmers, did what they knew best when they got to Minnesota. And by the late 1980’s they spearheaded the revitalization of local farmers’ markets, making them some of the most vibrant in the city.
But the Hmong also discovered that as immigrant farmers, they faced barriers in buying land, obtaining financing, accessing markets and building sustainable family businesses. They were struggling. To combat all that, a group of Hmong farmers established the non-profit Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) in 2011.”