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Hmong Farmers Join Forces With Latinos, Share Small Farming Tips

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.

"Our mission is one: try to feed our families." Chukou Thao, with National Hmong American Farmers

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.

Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.