Latinos in Southwest Missouri : Capturing the American Dream through Farming
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Even as farm ownership is declining in the US as a whole, an increasing number of Latinos are entering the farming business. In fact, Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group of farm owner/operators in Missouri and in the US as a whole. This paper examines the growing phenomenon of Latino-owned farms in Missouri through the use of 2002 Census of Agriculture figures and a 2004 survey of Latino farm owners in Missouri. Interviews were conducted with Latino dairy producers to give greater depth to the census and survey figures. Particular attention was paid to Latino access to capital, a significant barrier to entry in capital-intensive farming operations. Questions focused on Latino farmers' needs for debt financing, as well as experiences with local financial institutions, including banks and/or credit unions, the Farm Service Agency (including the former FmHA-Farmers Home Administration), and Farm Credit Services.