Building Capacity via Peer-to-Peer Food Safety Education with Hmong-American Fruit and Vegetable Farmers

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2016: $29,897.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2017
Grant Recipient: University of Minnesota
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Vegetables: broccoli, cucurbits, radishes (culinary), sweet corn, tomatoes


  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: farm-to-institution
  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, local and regional food systems, partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    The number of Hmong – American farmers is growing steadily in the region, but with this growth comes greater competition and decreased profitability at farmers markets. Many Hmong farmers are interested in new markets such as farm to school, preschool, health care and colleges. However, many Hmong farmers don’t have skills in post-harvest handling, food safety, and creating written food safety plans that these markets require. There are few other culturally-appropriate resources available to build their capacity in these areas, and Hmong farmers have been requesting assistance with these issues.This project utilizes a peer-led learning approach to build internal capacity within the Hmong American farming community: in year one, we will work closely with a small group of farmer leaders to develop their leadership capacity, food safety knowledge and on farm food safety practices via hands-on training and assistance that is tailored to their needs. In year two the farmers will share this information with other Hmong farmers in their community via field days, short workshops and mentorships. This peer-to-peer model will expand the impact of the project and build sustainable networks for future learning and growth in the Hmong farming community.

    Project objectives from proposal:


      • Increase understanding, implementation and support of Good Agricultural Practices among Hmong farm community in the region
      • Build leadership skills and in-depth food safety knowledge with 3 Hmong farm leader families, who in turn share information with at least 50 other Hmong farmers
      • Pilot and develop Hmong- focused train-the-trainer curriculum which can be adapted for use in other regions and with other populations of non-native English speaking farmers
      • Strengthen information sharing networks in Hmong community, increasing likelihood of information sharing in the future
      • Improve ability of Hmong farmers to enter institutional markets
      • Increase understanding among agricultural educators about Hmong farmer’s needs


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.