State program offers help to minority farmers

Published On: Feb 16 2013 02:40:56 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state assistance program is aimed at helping Wisconsin's minority farmers navigate the resources available to help in their success.

Jack Chang recently joined the Wisconsin Farm Center of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Chang works with minorities of all ethnic backgrounds on food safety, financial literacy and other areas.

Workshops are held across the state in areas of large minority farmer populations, including La Crosse, Eau Claire, Green Bay, the Fox Cities, Wausau, Madison, and Milwaukee. Chang also visits the farms to meet one-on-one with the farmers.

Many minority farmers grow vegetables, herbs and flowers to sell directly at farmers markets.  Chang helps those farmers renting farmland to negotiate a solid lease agreement.

Chang grew up working the farm with his parents both in Laos and in Wisconsin.