Latino and Spanish-Speaking Farm Entrepreneurs
A growing number of Oregon’s Latino farmers are operating, or preparing to launch, their own agricultural businesses. There is a wealth of federal, state, and regional agencies and organizations that provide technical, financial and political support for these farmers. Many other organizations work for the benefit of all farm entrepreneurs and rural residents, but the organizations listed below either have programs directed towards the needs of Latino farmers, or have a history of working with Latino farmers and offering their existing programs in Spanish. For additional resources, see our Family Farmers Resources Page and our Young & Beginning Farmers Resources Page. Also, download our iFarm description and iFarm landseeker questionnaire in Spanish.
NOTE: We have linked to the Spanish-language version of the webpage wherever possible. A Spanish translation of this resource page will be available shortly.
- Center for Latino Farmers connects disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to USDA programs, facilitates educational workshops, assists in applications for farm loans, assists with crop insurance, and provides one-on-one bilingual technical assistance.
- National Association of Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association provides resources on Organic farming, sustainable agriculture and gardening.
- National Immigrant Farming Initiative contains a wealth of resources, many translated into Spanish. The goal is to strengthen the capacity of immigrants to farm successfully and to advance sustainable farming and food systems.
- National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) of the University of Oregon provides objective, science-based information about pesticides and pesticide-related topics in English and Spanish.
- On-Farm Food Safety Project - a comprehensive national program that offers fruit and vegetable farmers, food safety professionals and agricultural extension specialists technical assistance to utilize and teach best practices in food safety, including a free online tool, which generates customized on-farm food safety plans based on user input. The tool is designed for use by small to mid-scale fruit and vegetable growers and provides a full set of record keeping tools to document their food safety program and to provide training to their employees.
- Oregon Tilth Certified Organic is an education, research non-profit and a certifying agency for the National Organic Program. Organic Certification applications are available in Spanish. The In Good Tilth newsletter is translated into Spanish and comes with Oregon Tilth membership.
- La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE): Founded in 1989 by labor rights activist Cesar Chavez, LUPE is committed to building stronger, healthier communities by empowering people to affect social change through community organizing and social services.
- Rural Coalition is an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous and migrant working people from around the United States, Mexico, Canada and beyond on policy and outreach for federal agricultural programs.
- United Farm Workers organizes farmworkers throughout the country and advocates for federal policy on the behalf of farmworkers.
- USDA Minority and Socially-Disadvantaged Farmers Assistance: USDA programs include direct and guaranteed farm-ownership and operating loans, marketing loans, as well as conservation, housing & rural business, and risk management. Register on the website to receive more information.
- USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has many programs which offer technical and financial assistance to farmers who engage in conservation practices. The Oregon NRCS office has agents who speak Spanish.
- USDA Farm Service Agency, in Spanish offers resources such as farm loans, disaster assistance, and financing and technical assistance for conservation programs.
- USDA Agricultural Resource Service (ARS), in Spanish conducts scientific research on issues that affect agriculture.
- ATTRA Research Publications in Spanish is one of the most comprehensive online libraries of research on agricultural topics such as organic practices, marketing, farm energy, pest management, risk management and more.
- Extension in Spanish contains many resources on agricultural practices, as well as other topics, such as health & safety.
Oregon-Wide and Regional Organizations
- Bienestar provides free income tax preparation, ESL classes, financial literacy classes, home ownership classes, job club, GED classes, computer classes and community gardens. Based in Hillsboro.
- Causa is Oregon’s statewide immigrant rights organization. Based in Salem.
- The Latino Network’s Programs Focus on Six Key Areas: Civic Engagement and Leadership, Early Childhood Development, Parent Involvement Resources, Youth and Family Engagement, Unidos for Oregon and Translation Services The Academy.
- MercyCorps Northwest offers a variety of educational and financial programs, including an Agriculture Project for recent refugees and immigrants, classes, counseling, matching savings grants, and microloans.
- Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs works to implement economic, social, legal, and political equality for for Hispanics in Oregon.
- Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA)’s many programs are designed to 1) ensure food safety and provides for consumer protection, 2) protect the natural resource base for present and future generations of farmers and ranchers, and 3) promote economic development and expand market opportunities for Oregon agricultural products.
- Oregon State University Extension Service conducts research, offers courses, and consults with farmers about their property, crops and marketing.
- Oregon Law Help offers a variety of free legal services to low-income individuals, including the Farmworker Program, which is based in Woodburn. If you are a low-income individual living in Oregon and involved in a civil case, contact Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO).
- Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United (PCUN) is Oregon’s largest Latino organization. This union protects the rights of farmworkers around the state, assists farmers with marketing their crops, and operates CAPACES Leadership Institute, which helps build leadership capacity and political consciousness in the Latino community. Based in Woodburn.
- Rural Development Initiatives (RDI Inc)’s program Pasos al Exito is a two-year, Spanish-language microenterprise development program for Latino community members that offers training in basic personal and business finance, instruction in starting a small business, and mentorship and resources. The program is held in seven rural towns.
- Rural Oregon Latino Leadership advocates for rural Latinos on immigration issues.
- VIDA Oregon offers Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs, which are a savings match for home ownership or repair, post-secondary or employment-related education, and small business start up and expansion. The small business IDA includes a business education program. VIDA’s IDAs match every dollar saved with $3.
- Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO)’s Farm to Congregation project works with new and immigrant farmers in particular to market their produce to congregations. EMO also runs the That’s My Farmer coupon program that helps generate consistent sales for the farmer, while donating 10% of the purchase price.
- Emma’s Garden connects low-income Cully residents to land, provides gardening and business training, and helps with marketing to build the local economy for small-scale produce and value-added products.
- Hacienda CDC holds small-business workshops, including workshops for agricultural businesses. Hacienda CDC’s Mercado in the Cully neighborhood uses local vendors.
- Janus Youth’s Village Gardens is an 85,000 sq ft urban agriculture program that uses sustainable organic gardening and farming to increase access to healthy food. It offers training, individual and family garden plots, and employment opportunities for adults and teens.
- Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) offers business, financing, personal development and marketing courses, as well as a microloan program.
- Portland- Multnomah Food Policy Council, in cooperation with several local and regional organizations, has offered several Farm Direct Marketing Workshops targeted towards helping immigrant farmers connect to land and markets.
- Verde hires low-income people to work with their landscaping, nursery and energy-efficiency enterprises. Employees are paid good wages with benefits, receive free classroom and on-the-job training, and have the opportunity to start their own small business.
- Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project is a worker-led organization that empowers immigrants and day laborers to gain control over their working conditions through leadership development, organizing and community education, such as computer literacy and ESL courses, and resource connection.
North Willamette Valley:
- Adelante Mujeres has Farm Incubator program that includes a 12-week course in Spanish on sustainable agriculture and a farm collective called La Esperanza Farm. Adelante Mujeres also offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) that match savings 3:1 for beginning farm entrepreneurs. Many of the graduates from the Farm Incubator sell their produce at the Forest Grove Farmers’ Market. Based in Forest Grove.
- Centro Cultural of Washington County offers GED, ESL, computer literacy, citizenship and driving courses. Based in Cornelius.
- Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce hosts English- and Spanish-language business education courses, the monthly business networking event Despierta! Hillsboro, and a yearly Latino Cultural event.
- Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce offers business owners one-on-one assistance in preparing tax returns, organizing finances, and negotiating disputes and contracts (such as leases). HMCC’s services are free, but their member organizations may charge a reduced fee. Based in Portland.
Central & Southern Willamette Valley
- Centro Latino Americano conducts advocacy and offers translation and interpretation, human services resources. Based in Eugene.
- Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) offers various food- and agriculture-related services in Spanish and English, including cooking classes, community garden, buying club, ensuring Oregon Trail cards are accepted at farmers’ market, and the That’s My Farmer coupon program. Based in Corvallis, serving Benton County
- Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC) offers ESL and computer classes and more. Based in Woodburn.
- Huerto de la Familia provides low-income Latino families with the opportunity and instruction to grow their own food in community gardens and to create micro-businesses for agricultural products. The Cambios Micro-Enterprise Program offers business training and counseling to Spanish speaking individuals interested in food and farm business enhancement or creation. Huerto also initiated the Small Farmers Project, a cooperative of Latino family farmers in Eugene. See also their three-part film series, Harvest of Pride. Based in Eugene.
- Microenterprise Resources, Initiatives and Training (MERIT) at Chemeketa Community College provides entrepreneurial training to Hispanic and other aspiring entrepreneurs in the Woodburn area through the Mid-Willamette Valley Latino Microenterprise Development Program.
- Unete is a volunteer-led movement of farmworkers and immigrants in rural Southern Oregon educating their community and advocating for worker rights, humane immigration policy, and full participation in the decision-making processes affecting their lives. Unete is the only Latino-led non-profit in the Rogue Valley. Based in Medford.
- Gorge Grown Food Network: connects and supports local farmers to ensure access to good food for everyone in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat, and Skamania Counties. Based in Hood River.
- Latino Community Association offers classes in English, citizenship, educational seminars, and information on available educational resources in the community. Based in Bend.
- Lower Columbia Hispanic Council offers tax preparation and filing, translation and interpretation, information on community resources, financial education and more. Based in Astoria.
Out of state
- Center for Latino Farmers, Central Washington: connects disadvantaged farmers to USDA programs and loans, facilitates educational workshops, provides risk-management tools, provides assistance in establishing marketing cooperatives, and more.
- Community to Community Development, Bellingham, Washington: a place-based, women-led grassroots organization working for a just society and heathly communities. Community to Community’s Food Justice program includes Las Margaritas Catering Cooperative, Finca Esperanza Organic Cooperative Training Farm and Cocinas Sanas/Healthy Kitchens.
- Viva Farms, Mount Vernon, Washington State: a farm incubator that offers land, equipment, infrastructure, education and technical assistance in English and Spanish, marketing and distribution support, and start-up loans.