AgStar awards grant to help immigrant farmers get access to land


AgStar awarded a grant last week aimed at increasing accessibility to farmland for immigrant farmers.

The farm credit institution gave the non-profit Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) a check for $50,000 during a press event outside of Cannon Falls in southeastern Minnesota.

Tom Monson is community and business development specialist for CEDA and says much of the state’s farmable land is already tied up in existing farms and development. The grant money will be used to document and catalog the inventory of publically owned land that could go into farming.

“This idea from our perspective really resonated with us when we began talking with different immigrant farming networks that were looking to gain traction as a beginning business operation.”

He tells Brownfield CEDA will provide a tool for accessing public land whether through sale or by lease.

“It’s really just connecting the interested parties.  There isn’t currently any sort of inventory or catalog on that sort of supply of land, so we’ll be looking to provide a new product or source of information for both parties to use.”

AgStar fund specialist Melanie Olson says access to land has been an obvious need in Minnesota for emerging immigrant farmers.

“This project that CEDA is working on will help those farmers find the resources they need, and help their future generations be successful farmers.”

Monson expects the project to be completed in about a year and says CEDA has segmented the state into seven regions using the same definitions as the Minnesota Initiatives Foundation.







  • IF American citizen farmers have had the first opportunity and refused , this may be acceptable, AND if immigrant farmers who qualify are *legal immigrants*. It is unacceptable to place non-citizen immigrants (even if legal) above American citizens, and it is egregious to even consider illegal immigrant farmers for this grant.

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