Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA)
TITLE: WWOOF Farming Intern
COMPENSATION: $1,200/month. + housing and amenities
SUPERVISOR: The Senior Organizer/ Farm Manager
The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) is a membership based nonprofit organization that works with Hmong American farmers in the Twin Cities and the surrounding metropolitan area. The mission of the organization is to advance the economic, social and cultural prosperity of these farmers and their families. Many Hmong farmers face numerous obstacles to farming including lack of access to land, capital, training and alternative markets besides the farmers’ market system. Through cooperative farming, education and advocacy, HAFA works with Hmong farmers and their families to create a path to wealth creation not just income generation.
HAFA is pleased to be a host site for Worldwide Organic Farming Network (WWOOF) helping people interested in getting hands-on experience working and living on a farm. We are excited to host a few WOOFers in 2015.
The Basics of WOOFing
WWOOF is a cultural and educational exchange program, through which WWOOFers learn about organic and sustainable agriculture, and farmers meet people interested in helping them grow organic foods. By opening your door to WWOOFers, you are welcoming people with diverse backgrounds from all over the U.S. and world. Sharing different customs and lifestyles is a great part of the program that we encourage you to embrace. Keep in mind that the folks you welcome to your farm would like to learn about organic farming, so please be actively involved and share your knowledge in a way that fosters the future of organic farming.
Hmong American Farmers Association WOOF Host Site Profile
The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) is a non-profit organization that was created in 2011 to serve, support and advocate for Hmong American farmers and their families. The HAFA Farm is a 155-acre research and incubator farm located in Hastings, Minnesota. HAFA sub-leases the land to small scale, family farmers and maintains multiple demonstration plots to teach Hmong farmers how to be better farmers, business operators and stewards of the environment. HAFA utilizes numerous sustainable agricultural practices on the farm including farming on the contour, planting pollinators, seeding grass roadways, composting, and using cover crops. The HAFA farm includes a fully weatherized house, with multiple bedrooms, a restored barn, indoor and outdoor washing stations, a commercial cooler, farm equipment and much more.
Duties and Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
• Cultivating soil, sowing crops, controlling weeds and harvesting crops;
• Inspecting, maintaining or fixing equipment, structures, or projects on the farm;
• Conducting ground and building maintenance on the farm;
• Interacting with farmers to ensure compliance with HAFA Farm protocols and to ascertain farmers’ thoughts about the farm;
• Preparing the farm for the September Open House.
• Maintaining HAFA demonstration projects on bee hives, cover crops, pollinators, and pea trellises
• Maintaining HAFA crops on such as watermelons, cucumbers and corn
• Communicating with farmers, staff, and technical experts about HAFA research projects
• Collecting soil and water samples and tests
• Interacting with farmers to ensure compliance with HAFA Farm protocols and collect farmers’ ideas about the farm
• Preparing the farm for annual events
Suggested Length of Stay: As soon as possible through at least October 31st
Expectations: HAFA is looking for very responsible candidates who would take good care of the farm house, cook and clean up, welcome visitors, collect mail, in addition to helping work the farm. In addition to covering rent, utilities, and Internet costs, HAFA will also pay $9/hr. for 40 hrs/week and will also pay $130/month to support healthy living. We want people who are willing to work hard and commit their best for our Hmong Farmers. We cannot accommodate any children or pets. HAFA coordinates a 200-person CSA as well as many other sales opportunities for its farmers including schools, non-profits, wholesalers and retail stores. HAFA is a wonderful organization with a tight-knit staff and family feel. WOOFers working at the HAFA farm should have their own mode of transportation. Public Transportation can be scarce in this rural area.
We are looking for WOOFers who are open-minded and excited about working with Hmong farmers and people, who can be culturally sensitive to immigrants and refugees, and do not mind working with farmers who may speak very little English. Our Farm site supervisor is Janssen Hang, Senior Organizer, (fluent in English) works closely to train and build capacity with Hmong farmers. Janssen does not live on-site at the farm. We have some interns and a farmhand who will also be out at the farm daily and may reside there as well.
If you are interested please contact the WWOOF program:
Program Manager, WWOOF-USA