July 2020 enewsletter
Have you taken the LOCAL FOOD IS ESSENTIAL pledge? A coalition of organizations, including RTC, is seizing upon the groundswell of support for local foods to ensure that the lessons learned this year will be here to stay—that our commitment to local farms is steadfast so that their presence is sustained for years to come, rather than fading after COVID.
If you're able, consider donating to the Local Emergency Assistance Farm Fund (LEAFF) to help farmers, particularly BIPOC and emerging farmers, whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19.
In these troubling times, we're so glad to be doing work that instills hope for our food system and the people that are so dedicated to caring for the land and our communities. Keep reading for some of the other things we have going on!
Finding Wholesale Markets as a Rural, Immigrant Farmer
Each farm is unique, in what they grow, in the number of employees (or not), and also, in how they market—sell—what they produce. Weather and other factors typically affect sales. But 2020 is no typical year.
It just so happened that Emily Reno, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, embarked on a regional market analysis in February for Agua Gorda, a farming cooperative in Long Prairie, MN, at a time when wholesale markets were hit hard by the pandemic.
One of Emily’s conclusions from working with brothers Javier and Jose Garcia—two of the farm’s four workers—is that a language barrier can make traditional assistance resources unattainable. Farm owner Javier is part of the Shared Ground Co-op of farmers, which includes other Spanish speakers, but more resources in Spanish are needed to close the gap. It was only this year that Minnesota Grown’s application became available in a language other than English. Appropriately, Emily’s report is available in both English and Spanish. Could this be the beginning of a larger trend among farmer-serving organizations and businesses?