In a new initiative to expand its services to the Latino Spanish-speaking population in northwestern Washington, NABC is taking steps to create a culturally and linguistically welcoming environment for Latino farmers and food businesses looking for support to start or expand and strengthen their businesses. At the center of this initiative is Alex Perez, an NABC Program Manager recently hired to help bridge the gap between NABC’s programs and the Latino community. Alex is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of Latino businesses. (You can find out more about Alex in last quarter’s newsletter here.)
In his efforts to reach out to the community, Alex is collaborating with local organizations and news platforms to create an integrated support system for Latino farmers to get the word out about how to access assistance. As part of this outreach, NABC is providing platforms for the Latino farming community to network, learn, and share ideas. In March, it hosted a Spanish-language and family-friendly event featuring presentations from several Latino-owned cooperative farms, as well as local nonprofits that offer bilingual assistance to entrepreneurs. By spreading awareness about available resources and their capacity to serve small-scale and Spanish-speaking farmers, NABC hopes to encourage more individuals to start their own farms and become strong members of the local food economy.
Also assisting the project is Tierney Henderson, an Americorps VISTA and recent graduate of UC Berkeley, where she studied in Environmental Economics and Policy. During her yearlong term at NABC, she is building capacity for the organization to work with beginning and disadvantaged farmers by conducting needs assessments and community outreach, while supporting the development of the new bilingual program. She is passionate about promoting transparency and justice along the chain of production, and motivated by a desire to strengthen support networks for small, sustainable producers to bolster a more diverse and resilient food system.
NABC welcomes Latino farmers who are looking for additional support with business planning, marketing/sales assistance, infrastructure development, access to capital, access to new markets, value-added product development. Alex is currently offering bilingual business consultations and NABC is working toward creating culturally and linguistically translated programs and workshops. To learn more about NABC’s work with the Latino community, contact Alex Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 770-4072.