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New Immigrant Agriculture Project

Contact Name & Title: Glen Hill
Address: 14220 “B” Ostlund Trail North
City, State & Zipcode: Marine on St Croix – May, Minnesota 55047
Phone: (651) 433-3676
Web Address:

Project Description:

A farmer prepares
the ground for
planting at NIAP’s

The New Immigrant Agriculture Project (NIAP) is an outgrowth of working with the legal immigrant community following Welfare Reform.  After three years of contracting with local Minnesota farmers to grow food for legal immigrants removed from the Food Stamp Program, the Minnesota Food Association (MFA) launched the New Immigrant Agriculture Project in 1998 as a means for new immigrants to grow food both for their own families, and to sell at market.  USDA’s Farm Service Agency funded MFA to launch the NIAP and during the first three years to work with Southeast Asian (particularly Hmong), Hispanic/Latino, and West African (particularly Somali) immigrants.  Over the subsequent three years the NIAP has continued to work with immigrants from all three communities, while also publishing a farm business management curriculum, Breaking New Ground. In 2004, MFA launched the Agricultural Training Center at Wilder Forest, including the May Farm CSA, as a place to provide a full array of education and training opportunities for new immigrants interested in agriculture as a career and/or lifestyle.  NIAP anticipates that in 2006, 10-15 farmers will grow on a minimum of three acres each and will successfully complete year-long classes on farm business management.  Additionally, more than 30 microfarmers will grow on a half-acre each for family consumption and market, and upwards of 40 community gardeners will grow on smaller parcels.  

Mission: To build a more sustainable food system in Minnesota.
Sponsoring Organization: Minnesota Food Association
Immigrant Communities Served: Hmong and other Southeast Asian farmers, Hispanic/Latino farmers, and Somali and other West African farmers in Minnesota
Languages Spoken: English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali
Agricultural Crops & Products: All varieties of vegetables, including those particular to the various participants’ cultures. Livestock including chicken, pigs, and milk and meat goats.
Areas of Expertise: Sustainable Agriculture Crop Production, Organic Farming, Farm Business Management, Farm Risk Management, Curriculum Development, Community Supported Agriculture, Farm Mentoring, and Marketing.
Useful Resources and Materials: Link to to access New Immigrant Agricultural Project resources, including: * Breaking New Ground, a farm business management curriculum for new immigrants * Introduction to Risk Management, a half-day power point presentation English, Hmong, Spanish