In celebration of the last day of the Lunar New Year, I wanted to write on the great purchase of land by the Hmong community in Minnesota. The Hmong families buy a 155 acre farm in Dakota County. This is the first Hmong-owned and operated farm purchased nationwide, and it has been a long journey for the 16 families involved. The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) spearheaded this endeavor to help Hmong farmers across the country have access to land that they can use for farming.
The Hmong are an ethnic group from Southeast Asia who have experienced displacement due to wars and persecution over many centuries. Over time, many Hmong refugees settled in America, with a large population now living in Minnesota. Despite facing language barriers, discrimination, and poverty – they continue to strive towards success through hard work and determination.
This purchase marks a major milestone for both HAFA’s mission as well as the Hmong community at large – allowing them to take ownership of their own destiny when it comes to agricultural production within their communities. It also provides new opportunities for Hmong farmers across the nation who will benefit from having access to resources such as land that was previously inaccessible or too expensive for them to acquire on their own.
Hmong American Farmers Association
Hmong Americans have made history with the Hmong American Farmers Association’s (HAFA) historic purchase of the 155 acre farm in Vermillion, Minnesota. This is a major milestone for both HAFA’s mission and Hmong community at large as it provides Hmong farmers across the nation access to resources such as land that was previously inaccessible or too expensive for them to acquire on their own. For decades, Hmong families have faced language barriers, discrimination, and poverty – yet they continue to strive towards success through hard work and determination. In this blog post we explore how this purchase marks an important step forward in helping Hmong communities gain financial security and independence through agricultural production.
The HAFA’s purchase of farmland has been a long time coming for Hmongs living in America since many have had limited access to resources like land due to cultural marginalization and historical exclusion from agricultural opportunities in the U.S.. By purchasing a 155 acre farm outside of traditional markets set up by non-Hmongs, Hmongs now have more control over their economic futures while simultaneously contributing back into local rural economies with their business dealings. Moreover, these lands can be used not only for farming but also to provide recreational activities. To learn more about the history of land ownership and disbursement in the U.S. and around the world subscribe to my newsletter, purchase my books and become a paid subscriber.
Jillian Hishaw, Esq., is a MacArthur Awardee, Agricultural Lawyer, Founder, and Director of F.A.R.M.S., an international non-profit and Hishaw Law L.L.C., a virtual law practice. Inspired by her own family’s land loss, F.A.R.M.S., provides technical and legal assistance to small farmers, while reducing hunger in the farmer’s community. Hishaw’s first book, “Don’t Bet the Farm on Medicaid,” examines how U.S. long-term care facilities can exercise their federal authority to place a lien on a resident’s property, if an outstanding debt, is owed.
Hishaw, has over 20 years of professional experience in the areas of civil rights, land protection, and agricultural policy. Her prior experience includes working at local, state and federal agencies on conservation and civil rights matters. In 2017, Hishaw was recognized as a Food Changemaker, by the Clif Bar Foundation and featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Atlantic, Vice News, Growers Co., (CAN), and among others. In 2019, the Food Tank organization voted Hishaw, 1 of 15 women in the World Impacting the Food Industry. Hishaw, has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tuskegee University, plus a Juris Doctorate and Legal Master’s in agricultural law, from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville law school.
Hishaw is the author of “Don’t Bet the Farm on Medicaid,” “US Farm Tax Credits for all 50 States,” “The History of 50 U.S. State Flags & their Historic Symbolism,” and “Systematic Land Theft” winner of the 2022 Independent Press Award, the 2022 National Indie Excellence Book Award, 2022 NYC Big Book Award and Finalist for the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.