Meet the Farmers
Farmers in Training: Basic Training Program
A man with “a passion for the outdoors, the sun and the wind,” Lue has found his work at MFA to be very satisfying. His goals are to complete the training program at MFA and acquire his own farm, which will enable him “to give back” and contribute to community health as well as feed his own family. Every day, in pursuit of his dream, he is “up before the sun,” Lue’s son Houa reports. You have to “beat the heat,” says Lue, “if you love the land and work.
Continue reading Lue and Kia's story.
“This is my job. It pays the rent, supports my family,” Dil says. He sold much of the produce he grows at the community garden, but his involvement with the Farmer Training Program has allowed him to learn a great deal more about where and how to market his crops.
Continue reading Dil Barakoti's Story.
Suraj and his family came to the Farmer Training Program with a strong knowledge of farming.The program has given him additional tools to expand his family’s experience. He continues to be surprised by what he’s learned here. “I thought America was all cities and buildings. I didn’t picture the farmland,” he says.
Continue reading Suraj's story...
Anyone meeting Xie Cha for the first time can see immediately that she goes through life with a positive outlook. Whether she is talking about her early life in rural Southeast Asia, or her current life as a new member of the MFA family, she is all smiles.
Continue reading Xie's Story.....
To fulfill his duties to family and community, and to see his dreams come to fruition, Dil knows he has to learn as much as possible about all aspects of farming. The weather here is a big challenge, for one thing. Mastering methods of planting, nurturing, and protecting organic produce takes time and effort. Dil has been impressed by what modern farm equipment can do and how easy it is to use. “People here have so much,” he observes, much more than they realize.
Continue reading Dil's Story.....
For Chairesia, a guiding principle in her life has been the dictum, “Let thy food be thy medicine” (Hippocrates). For her that means building bridges between health care and healthy eating. “How can food prevent illness? How can we get the most nutrients from food? I think organic farming is one way to do that.”
Continue reading Chairesia's story....
The training MFA provides has been invaluable. “Now I think about succession planting, making the most of the plot and the growing season. I think about how to save water, how to protect against weeds and bugs.” Tall and lean, Fagas says some days he practically lay down next to his beds to finish planting. He came home (to Eden Prairie, a 65 mile commute one-way) dead tired. When his wife asked if he was ready to quit, he remembered life on the road. “I was sitting 16 hours a day driving a truck. This is healthier—I want to be working with my hands.”
Continue reading Fagas and Naima's story.....
Amy and Proeun are graduates of the Minnesota Food Association organic farming program and say that the program was a big help in preparing them to live off the land. They say that one of the greatest benefits of the program was that in addition to learning the basics, they learned how to research the answers to questions that came up later.