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New Latino Farmers in the Midwest: The Case of Southern Michigan. Latinos in

Our paper is, “New Latino Farmers in the U.S. Heartland: An Example of a Growing Trend in U.S. Agriculture.” It is a change that is affecting the economic well-being, social, and cultural arena of rural America. We will address the major findings of our USDA-funded study in how Tejano farm workers and Mexican immigrants from Chicago are becoming small farmers in southwestern Michigan. The study is based on a qualitative survey conducted in Van Buren County with thirty out of thirty-two Latino farmers in the county. Specifically, we will discuss how these farmers are using their social capital to enter the farming business. We will show that they use very little government assistance and provide the reasons for this practice. Our presentation will also demonstrate that Latinos, in general, are becoming new farmers across the United States, challenging the myth that they are only farm workers.
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