St. Paul, Minnesota, is seeing a resurgence of farmers markets and immigrants are responsible. An influx of Hmong refugees from Southeast Asia in the 1970s gave the markets a second life. The immigrants from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, along with the Hmong people, are coming from cultures where everyone shops in open-air markets for their goods. Der Thao is a Hmong farmer and is second generation American. Her father came from Laos and she was born in Thailand in a refugee camp. She said they have been selling at the market for over 30 years. Hmong farmers make up over 50 percent of the vendors at the farmers market. There is also a Russian family, a lady from India, a Somalian family, and a farmer from Nepal selling their goods at the market. Susan Dahl, from Nepal, has been selling raw honey for four years. If you are dreaming of a happier life, contact USAFIS for help with the U.S. immigration process. They can help you choose which U.S. visa is best for you and your family.
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Between around 1854 and 1980, Americans chose to shop in big supermarkets. According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, in the last 40 years, the farmers markets have been rediscovered, growing from about 1,755 in 1999 to over 8,600 nationwide. The U.S. government has contributed to the growth of the markets by a grant program. The Farmers Market Promotion Program is geared “to increase domestic consumption of, and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets.” At the St. Paul market, only produce grown within 50 miles is allowed to be sold and must be sold directly by the grower. One shopper, Alyssa Erding, said she loves getting to talk with the farmers who are growing the food and likes that she knows where the food is coming from, so close to home. There are several opportunities for you and your family in the U.S. USAFIS will assist you when applying for the required visa to live and work in America. Contact them today!