Economic Opportunities for Immigrants and Refugees Interested in Agriculture and Food Business?Was Focus of June’s Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Forum
Friday, July 23, 2021
At June’s Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Forum, community leaders, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations came together to talk about the economic opportunities and challenges in the agriculture industry for Minnesota’s Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) farmers. The forum also shared a range of resources from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and community-based organizations for BIPOC Minnesota farmers.
Emerging Farmers Working Group
To kick off the discussion, MDA Assistant Commissioner Patrice Bailey shared information on the Emerging Farmers Working Group in Minnesota. This group is the first of its kind in the country, and its purpose is to develop new programs that support emerging farmers in Minnesota. The members consist of farmers or organizations that represent farmers who are BIPOC, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and any other emerging farmers as determined by the Commissioner of Agriculture. They are currently studying MDA funding and policy with the goal of developing those recommendations for policies and programs to assist emerging farmers.