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California Matters with Mark Bittman

The Changing Faces of California Agriculture

The Central Valley is home to the nation's largest Hmong farming community. Since leaving Laos in the 1970s and '80s for one of the state's dominant agricultural regions, they grow the fruits and vegetables most familiar to them. The produce they sell in California's farmers' markets are wonderfully diverse.

Back in Fresno, UC Berkeley's Jennifer Sowerwine works with many of these farmers and local regulating agencies to develop training programs, identify strategies to cope with the drought, and help farmers access government support programs. This is important work as they're up against huge odds: language barriers, limited access, and corporate agriculture.

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