Many Hmong families across the nation have turned to farming as a way to support their families in pursuit of the American Dream. The lure of owning and living off the land has called out to many in the Hmong community, particularly those who had previously been working menial jobs in urban environments.
Although the opportunities are alluring, many Hmong farmers struggle to sell produce and are often discriminated against because of language barriers. Hmong poultry farmers in the Ozark regions have been victimized by predatory bank lenders and have been subjected to unfair practices by the large poultry processing companies, resulting in many families having to declare bankruptcy and losing their life savings.
Resources to help small or just starting out, and/or socially disadvantaged farmers are often overlooked by Hmong farmers because they are unaware of these resources and are unable to access them due to numerous barriers.
2012 Farm Bill
HND has been continuing to meet with key members of Congress to push for a 2012 Farm Bill that will provide Hmong farmers with the support and resources they need to succeed in the agricultural industry. HND has been encouraging members of Congress to support bills such as the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act and the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act, which would provide new farmers with resources and technical assistance, and support farmers markets and local infrastructure, respectively.