Hilda Moreno is the co-owner and co-operator of Los Dos Potrillos near Fremont, Nebraska. They produce corn, eggs, and other vegetables.
Prior to farming: "Before the farm, I was a stay-at-home mom, caring for our sons. Each year, I would detassle corn for two months. I like everything regarding farming. I enjoy being around the organic, pesticide-free vegetables, like corn."
Our operation: “We started with layer chickens’ non-certified organic eggs. My eldest son, Carlos, would attend Center for Rural Affairs workshops with me. He was intrigued by the thought of eating healthy and wanted to learn how to raise chickens. Most importantly, Carlos wanted to know what he was eating, which led to teaching his clients that his chickens were fed with organic feed and laying quality eggs. We also grow vegetables, including corn.”
Who are you working with?: "Carlos and Tony, my children, take the lead on the farm. They are both very interested, but Carlos is the one who has a goal in mind and won’t rest until his objective is met. His head is full of projects dealing with the farm business."
Our mentors: “We have farmer friends who helped us; but, what we found most helpful were the workshops through the Center for Rural Affairs. The workshops helped us network with other farmers.”
Advice to beginning Latino farmers: "If you decide to start farming, make sure it is something you truly want to do because it is difficult to farm. But, if you become educated by attending workshops and farm tours, and then apply the training, you can make farming successful."
What I wish I had known: “When we started, we thought we already knew all about farming. After we began attending the Center’s workshops, we realized an initial investment is needed to see returns in that investment. Many people think that farming is easy, but I feel that farming is a difficult profession. Overcoming self doubts and lack of confidence comes with time. Looking toward the future keeps me focused.”
Latino Beginning Farmer Project at the Center for Rural Affairs is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture – U.S. Department of Agriculture through the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.
The Center for Rural Affairs offers one-on-one technical assistance to farmers in networking, education, and leadership, as well as learning circles and group trainings on business and finance, production, and marketing. These services are offered in both Spanish and English.
Staff contributing to these case studies include: Kylie Kai, Rhea Landholm, Kirstin Bailey, Vicky Espinoza, and Liz Daehnke.