Seward Co-op’s CSA Fair brings together farmers and consumers. There, not only can consumers purchase a share directly from a farmer, but we also connect with farmers to learn about their triumphs and struggles in the fields. Through past fairs, we have literally amplified local farmers’ voices by passing them the mic to reflect on challenges in agriculture in the upper Midwest. Below are links to Farmer Talks at previous Seward Co-op CSA Fairs, which touch on a variety of issues, including regenerative agriculture, the Farm Bill, and land access.
In 2018, we invited farmers who are also community organizers to focus on the sustainable food movement. Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) shared the history of how Hmong people came to the United States, and talked about HAFA’s programs which provide immigrants with land access. Michael Cheney of Project Sweetie Pie shared Farm Bill updates and encouraged community members to become more active and engaged in local politics. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin shared how Main Street Project’s poultry CSA is making it a little easier for Latinos to become small-scale farmers. In 2019, we talked with Emily Hanson of Shared Ground Farmers’ Cooperative about cooperative farming; Naima Dhore, a Somali-American farmer, about growing organic vegetables; and again, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin of Regenerative Agriculture Alliance about decolonization and regenerative agriculture. In 2022, we spoke with Janssen Hang, executive director of Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) about HAFA’s history and mission; again, Naima Dhore, a Somali-American farmer, about community efforts to create access to culturally specific food; and Jack Hedin of Featherstone Farm about the work that goes into providing produce to the marketplace for 9 months out of the year.