The National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
The National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association was founded in August of 2004 in Washington, D.C as the National Association of Latino/Hispanic Farmers & Ranchers. This alliance of Latino advocacy groups evolved from a long soul searching ordeal & after working with many farmer and farm worker advocacy groups for several years.
The MISSION of the organization is to engage and empower Latino farmer advocacy groups throughout the United States and beyond to protect and promote sustainable farm policy issues for quality and safe food systems for the future.
NLFRTA/NASS Hispanic Heritage Event 2014
"Foremost, I want to thank the NASS staff for making time from their busy schedule to help us with this celebration as well as those of you who were able to support our Hispanic Heritage Ag Census Celebration event.
As we've stated before, this event is of special significance to us as it means that we are supporting ourselves in making sure that we contribute to a good Agriculture Census count.
We regret that we were not able to have more of the US Department of Agriculture Memorandum of Understanding signatories so that we could get a briefing of their plans in implementing their MOU.
We will be traveling to Dallas, Texas in support of the Latinos in Agriculture Leadership Conference and I have requested that the NASS staff provide me with copies of our newsletters and the Ag Census materials for presentation and dissemination there. Thanks again to all who are in attendance."
Visit our NLFRTA/NASS Hispanic Heritage Event 2014 photo gallery by clicking the link below
Attend Rural Coalition 2014 Winter Forum and Networking Dinner
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 18:00 to Friday, December 5, 2014 - 23:00
American University- SIS Building
We seek your attendance for our upcoming gathering of our members and partners December 3-5, 2014 at our Winter Forum. It has become something of a tradition for Rural Coalition members, supporters, allies, federal agency colleagues and friends to meet every year during the Winter Forum, which serves as our “Knowledge Sharing Institute.”
PLEASE JOIN US On behalf of our Rural Coalition Board of Directors, we look forward to your presence. We are stronger together, and we hope you will join us and support and participate in this important event.
USDA Seeks Input on New Beef Promotion Order
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking input from the public to guide its development of a new industry-funded promotion, research and information order (also known as a "checkoff program") for beef and beef products. The new order would be in addition to the existing beef checkoff program, providing American beef producers with more resources for the marketing of their products and research to help strengthen the country's beef industry.
"Beef industry representatives agree that this important program needs more resources. USDA is stepping up at a critical juncture to help achieve the industry's goal," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "With this action we can boost research investments, increase beef exports, and encourage folks here at home to support American beef producers."
Dorathy & Phillip discuss the discriminatory lending practices
Dorathy & Phillip discuss the discriminatory lending practices that have contributed to a tremendous loss of Black-owned farmland. Their non-profit organization, Operation Spring Plant, promotes self-help community economic development programs and technical assistance and training for minority and limited resource farmers.
Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid's board of directors in 2001.
From the NLFRTA President's Desk
NLFRTA president, Rudy Arredondo, will be traveling to Albemarle, North Carolina this weekend and next week to work with the Rural Coalition and the National Hmong American Farmers, based in Fresno and represented by NLFRTA in Washington, DC to provide support and technical assistance to the Hmong poultry farmers who will be gathering there from all over the country to discuss issues that have adversely affected their operations.
"I've been working with the Asian and Hmong farmers since 1995 when I worked at USDA as president of the Hispanic Organizations Leadership Alliance (HOLA), an organization working to ensure accountability by USDA Hispanic employees to the Hispanic constituency utilizing USDA programs," recounts Arredondo.
"My two colleagues I worked closely with were former Asian Pacific Americans in Agriculture (APANA), the USDA Asian employee association president Dr. Jeremy Wu and NRCS representative Dr. Mon Yee. Another important ally in that community was Lawrence Lucas who headed the Minority Coalition that represented the African American USDA employees," stated Arredondo.
"This trip is tremendously important at it attempts to try to deal with injustices visited on poultry growers overall, not just Hmong growers. NLFRTA has advocated for fair and just treatment and fair contracts with integrators such as Cargill, Tyson, Smithfield, among others and we challenged what we considered "contracts of adhesion". These contracts are extremely one-sided in favor of the integrators who have no investment on the farm, but farmers must bring their farms up to the specifications of the integrator to be considered qualified for a contract," Arredondo explains.
"One of the major problems in that a farmer must indebt him or herself for up to $250,000 via a conventional or most often a USDA guaranteed loan to bring the farm up to the integrators requirements," continues Arredondo. "With the Hmong and some of the Latino farmers, we have had language and cultural issues whereby the process for both the integrator and loan requirements are not adequately explained that has caused the farmers to eventually have to declare bankruptcy and lose their investment and their farms. That is unfortunately a too common occurrence."
"We also know that at times the real estate, the banks have taken advantage of these immigrant farmers by selling them foreclosed farms at over-inflated prices that the contract provided to the farmer by the integrator is not enough of a cashflow to repay the mortgage," Arredondo further states. "So part of our trip this time is to attempt to come up with some solutions to these problems to give the poultry farmers some feedback and help them to come up with some viable solutions to their problems, we hope," concludes Arredondo.
Urgent Action Needed
Sign on Letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack Request to Reject the Proposal by the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group and to Adopt the Proposal Recommended Herein
Please join the NLFRTA, and R-Calf and others in signing the the letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack Request to Reject the Proposal by the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group and to Adopt the Proposal Recommended Herein...
We plan to mail the letter to Secretary Vilsack on September 8 so please respond by e-mail on or before September 7 if your organizatio would like to sign onto the letter. Please contact either Fred Stokes at 601-527-2459 or Bill Bullard at 406-670-8157
Tell the EPA: Protect farmworkers from toxic pesticides
It’s staggering: More than 1 billion pounds of dangerous pesticides are used in the production of agricultural crops in the U.S. annually,1 poisoning up to 20,000 farmworkers each year.2
Right now the Environmental Protection Agency is deciding whether to update rules that protect farmworkers from harmful pesticide exposure -- and a critical comment period closes in less than a week.
We know that big corporate agribusiness will be piling on the pressure from the other side. We need to fight back and provide a strong showing of grassroots support for protecting farmworkers from dangerous pesticides.
Tell the EPA: Protect farmworkers from cancer-causing pesticides. Submit a public comment now.
Sign Stop Fast Track Sign-on Letter to Senator Wyden
Please join the NLFRTA, Rural Coalition, AFL-CIO, the Communications Workers of America, Public Citizen, Sierra Club and others in signing the the letter to Senator Wyden pasted below, which reiterates opposition to Fast Track and calls for its replacement with a new system for negotiating and implementing trade agreements that provides for real congressional and public accountability.
Sign On Letter to USDA Support Funding Increase for 2501 Outreach & Advocacy
Dear Friends and allies of the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association Please sign up your organizationon to support this important letter generated by the Rural Coalition leadership for action on the Hill regarding critical funding by USDA.
By Victor Landa, NewsTaco
Editor’s note: Thomas is Extension educator and innovation counselor at the Michigan State University Product Center, Michigan Cooperative Development Program. This is one in a series of blogs USDA is posting to help celebrate Cooperative Month in October.
Farmers on the Move (FOTM) is a cooperative of Hispanic farmers, incorporated in June 2009, which is working to create a quality retail brand of fresh blueberries and vegetables for the Michigan and Midwest markets. Guiding this effort is Filiberto Villa Gomez, co-op board president, who has consistently striven to enhance member knowledge of both growing and marketing practices.
Together, the farmers process, package, deliver and share marketing expenses. The co-op sells to retail and wholesale markets, as well as through farmers markets. FOTM currently has 14 members who farm from 5 to 50 acres. Sales this year will be in the low-to-mid six-figures. The 2012 Michigan Ag Census listed 855 Hispanic farmers in the state, who are farming 115,087 acres.
By Victor Landa, NewsTaco
I was amused last week with the reaction to a headline on a New York Times article about how many Latino farmers have transitioned from farm work to farm ownership. The headline read “Latinos Move Up, From Picking Crops to Running the Farm (The NYT has since changed the wording).”
There was an instant negative reaction online.
Twitter was ablaze with comments: “this is kind of racist.” “because we ALL start picking crops right? SMH. Another racist headline to add to the collection.” “Oh, NYT that is really awful.”
WATSONVILLE, Calif. — When he was 15, an immigration raid at a Japanese flower nursery turned Arturo Flores’s life around.
The owners needed a new group of workers to replace the ones removed by immigration officials, and Mr. Flores landed a job cutting flowers. He slowly worked his way up to packaging and delivering them. In the mid-1980s he got a call from two businessmen looking to start their own cut-flower business. They asked him to manage deliveries and distribution. Today Mr. Flores, 50, is the president of Central California Flower Growers in Watsonville, a distributor in Santa Cruz County that sells more than 100 varieties of flowers and other plants
Farming businesses in the United States are still dominated by whites, but Mr. Flores (whose last name means “flowers” in English) is one of a growing number of Latinos who own or operate farms in the country. While the overall number of farms in the United States decreased by 4 percent from 2007 to 2012, during the same period the number of farms run by Hispanics increased by 21 percent to 67,000 from 55,570, according to data released in May from the government’s 2012 census of agriculture. The numbers signaled a small but consistent pattern of growth in agribusiness among Latinos, many of whom have gone from working in the fields to sitting in the head offices.
NASS PSA by NLFRTA CEO Rudy Arredondo
USDA Week In Review Ep 41 August 29
Travel With NLFTRA President Rudy Arredondo
NLFRTA Travels to Cheyenne, Wyoming, Aug. 29-30, for the R-CALF Annual Conference August 29-30
NLFRTA president, Rudy Arredondo, will be traveling to Cheyenne, Wyoming for the R-CALF USA August 29-30 national conference. The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) represents the U.S. cattle industry in trade and marketing issues to ensure the continued profitability and viability of independent U.S. cattle producers..
NLFRTA, an active R-CALF USA member, will be discussing timely issues that are important to Latino farmers and ranchers, i.e., grazing permits, stockyards and packers issues, Check-Off, Animal ID, country-of-origin labeling, drought and flooding, natural disaster assistance and support, USDA programs access, marketing opportunities, access to credit, as well as, preparing for the upcoming Congressional legislative session and. Finally, we need to start preparations for a fair and just Farm Bill, should there be one in the future.
NLFRTA president, Rudy Arredondo, stated, "we are extremely happy to work with R-CALF on issues of mutual concern and interest. We want to thank CEO Bill Bullard for welcoming our participation and inclusion into the organization. NLFRTA represents more than 20,000 farming and ranching families through the Northern New Mexico Stockman's Association in Taos, New Mexico alone. With that in mind, we have had to insure that we participate and bring these issues that impact our membership and to collaborate with R-CALF USA to provide solutions for this important industry. We are looking forward to a very successful R-CALF USA convention in Cheyenne."
Sign on Letters
Letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding California Drought Download Letter
NLFRTA Brochure Download link
Subscribe to EMail List
Save The Date
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association 10th Anniversary
Date: September 30-October 1, 2015
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico.
If you would like to get update or would like to be a sponsor for the NLFRTA Annual Conference and 10th Year Anniversary please sign up below:
Support Our Work
National Hmong American Farmers: Letter to Governor Brown of California re: Support AB 2325
Dear Governor Brown:
I am writing to strongly support the creation of an interpreters program in the Medi-Cal, and the legislation to do that--AB 2325. I wish to express my deepest concern with language access in our state, and to ensure that your office understands the realities faced by Limited English Proficient patients in our current healthcare delivery system.
The Department of Health Care Services wrote in a July 2 letter opposing the effort to create an interpreters program in Medi-Cal that interpreter services are already provided by Managed Care Plans, and by healthcare providers through language line services, contracts with interpreters, employing interpreters and bilingual staff. The need of California’s LEP communities
White House Rural Council Announces $10 Billion Private Investment Fund to Projects in Rural America
WASHINGTON, July 24, 2014 - The White House Rural Council today announced the creation of the new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund through which private entities can invest in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country. An initial $10 billion has been committed to the fund with greater investment expected to follow. Target investments will include hospitals, schools and other educational facilities, rural water and wastewater systems, energy projects, broadband expansion, local and regional food systems, and other rural infrastructure.
CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving rural America and a member of the Farm Credit System, is the fund's anchor investor, committing $10 billion to get the fund off the ground. Capitol Peak Asset Management will manage the new
Letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding California Drought
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
As the impact of the severe drought in California widens, we are grateful to you to call attention and action to the crisis by traveling to Fresno tomorrow.
We continue working with National Hmong American Farmers, Inc. (NHAF) to support their emergency efforts to reach and assist the Hmong and other diverse producers in the region who face this sudden and growing loss of their crops and their livelihoods.
Our Board member, Chukou Thao of NHAF, has already been working with state and local USDA officials and other agencies on a solution oriented approach to the emergency. We have attached the fact sheet assembled from a recent