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FLAG Celebrates 25 Years of Working for Justice

October 26, 2011

Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG), celebrates its 25th year with a celebration honoring the tens of thousands of family farmers they’ve created opportunities for nationwide. The November 3rd event at the William College of Law features civil rights pioneer and former board member, Shirley Sherrod, who will offer remarks of “Healing Racial Wounds: Poverty, Race and Family Farming.”

FLAG, a St. Paul-based nonprofit law center that offers legal services and support to family and immigrant farmers began addressing credit issues during the farm financial crisis in the 1980s and the national organization has increasingly focused their work with minority farmers.

Development Manager, Tony Brown stated that FLAG’s 2007 Board Resolution decided to dedicate half of the organization’s resources to improve the lives of minority farmers who have been falling behind in the current farm industry. FLAG has worked on several large cases defending black and Native American farmers including the Pigford Settlement and Keepseagle v. Visack Settlement. FLAG also works extensively with Hmong, Hispanic and women farmers.

May Lee of Mhonpaj’s Garden at the Farmers’ Market for Chefs event

“Minorities and immigrants make up a small portion of farmers in Minnesota,” Brown said, “but make up a huge portion of the poor farmers.”

Through FLAG’s mission, and funding from the St. Paul Foundation, they’ve partnered with The Minnesota Project to establish new markets for immigrant and minority farmers in the East Metro area. One of the most recent partner projects was the ‘Farmers’ Market for Chefs’ event that connected immigrant and local farmers with area college food service chefs to provide an alternative venue to farmers’ markets.

“The Minnesota Project’s work is special to us as we share the same goals and same successes,” Brown said,
“We value working with partners so we can help keep family farms in success on the land and help each other build family farm legacies through the country.”

The celebration will also feature Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Dave Frederickson as the Master of Ceremonies with an awards ceremony and reception following the program. If you would like to learn more about their anniversary celebration or some of the other work FLAG does, see FLAG’s website for more details.

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