Colle Farmers Market Applauds Training Programs Helping Low-Income Minorities Start Organic Farms

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Following an article published by Fox News regarding a new program which has helped start over 80 farms since 2001, Colle Farmers Market offers their support.

On December 19, Colle issued a statement applauding training programs that are helping people with low incomes (especially immigrants) start their own farms. Colle hopes that these programs will help the growth in popularity of organic food and farming throughout the country.

According to a recent article from Fox News, these programs were started in 2001 and were designed specifically to help minorities and immigrants with low incomes start their own small farming businesses. The article reports that The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) has helped start over 80 small farms.

The article went on to say that “with demand for locally grown and organic food skyrocketing, more people have become interested in farming in recent years, spurting a growth in farmer training programs.” However, the article reports, few of these programs are specifically catered to immigrants, who face difficulties such as language and cultural barriers and lack of government support. Fox News reports that ALBA’s programs are designed specifically to help immigrants.

According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, Hispanic farmers grew by over 14 percent over five years; however they still only account for about 2.5 percent of overall U.S. farm workers. The article states that ALBA teaches Latino immigrants crop planning, production, marketing and distribution skills. Farmers are also taught to grow 60 varieties of fresh produce, explains Fox News.

“This year, the program added a three-month apprenticeship during which participants grow and sell crops as a class. Aspiring farmers then present a business plan,” the article stated.

Colle Farmers Market applauded ALBA for helping boost the agricultural economy. With the rise in popularity of organic food, Colle stated that ALBA and other programs can create many new job opportunities for Hispanic immigrants. The farming community has been facing some struggles in recent years, and it is very important to keep this community alive and well through programs such as ALBA.

Colle is an E-Commerce enabled farmers market community that is passionate about sustainable consumption and responsible conservation. The Colle movement is dedicated to connecting natural product vendors, organic farmers and all consumers who live an organic and natural lifestyle with the ultimate goal of creating more sustainable farming and consumerism.

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Scott Darrohn
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