West Saint Paul, MN — In recognition of winning a 2017 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, this grant will advance the organization's charitable mission
Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) creates intergenerational wealth for Hmong farmers, who represent 50% of vendors in Twin Cities metropolitan area farmers markets. Founded and led by Hmong farmers, HAFA stands out as a grassroots organizer, thought leader and agitator for fairness and equity in urban agricultural practices. HAFA’s unique whole food model helps farmers access land, new markets, capital and credit, and provides vital business training and research to improve farm practices.
HAFA’s innovative food hub aggregates and sells farmers’ produce to educational institutions, health organizations and co-ops in the greater Twin Cities area. The organization also lobbied the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to create microloan programs for immigrant farmers and partners with community organizations to make sure Hmong farmers have the required business plans and financial documents necessary to access the loans.
Experimental yet solutions-oriented, HAFA understands that farming is a way of life for Hmong people, not just a way to make money. Cultural values, including working collaboratively, form the foundation for all the organization does to ensure economic justice for Hmong farmers.