Stillwater farmer looks to empower communities
STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — A Stillwater farmer hopes to change the face of farming by providing organic produce for low-income Latinos.
Mexico-born Eduardo Rivera, who rents land for his 3½-acre farm called Sin Fronteras (“without borders”), began his business in 2014. One of his biggest clients is Minneapolis’ Surly Brewing, and he also sells to local food co-ops.
He hopes paying customers will help him change the face of farming, he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/2dLPLwN).
The 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture census showed that Latinos make up 50 percent of agricultural workers in the U.S., but only operate or own 3 percent of farms.
“There are a lot of us farming, but … not a lot of us own land,” Rivera, who rents from a local farmer. “A lot of people work for people who own land. I’m trying to empower my community and show that we are here and that we do farm — we’re just not at the forefront.”
About 60 percent of Sin Fronteras’ business is wholesale, while the rest is sold through a community-supported agriculture program and at farmers markets.
“I definitely look for ways to provide more people of color and low-income Latinos with access to what you see here,” Rivera said.
Rivera has a five-year business plan for eventually owning a farm in 2018. In 10 years, he hopes to open a farm-to-table restaurant specializing in Mexican food.