Agricultural Program Director, Latino Economic Development Center
Aaron helps direct LEDC’s Agricultural Program working to secure grants, managing the program budget, and coordinating LEDC’s Agricultural training activities including; business technical assistance to farmers, loan application assistance, marketing assistance, and in-field technical assistance. Aaron also helps to build key partnerships with other farming and government organizations involved in creating pathways for success to Minnesota’s Latino agricultural entrepreneurs.
Aaron started working in Organic vegetable production in 2001. He is a graduate of the University of Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ Apprenticeship program in Ecological Horticulture. Aaron spent over 8 years working and managing Organic vegetable farms in Oregon and Minnesota. He spent 6 years as the farm manager of Big River Farms, an Organic vegetable training farm that works with emerging and immigrant farmers. Most recently, he spent 5 years as the Director of Shared Ground Farmers’ Cooperative, a majority-owned Latino marketing cooperative in St. Paul, MN.
As a white employee of a Latino organization, Aaron is inspired to do this work for two reasons. First, he is consistently in awe of the vision, dedication, and wisdom Latino agricultural entrepreneurs bring to rural Minnesota. Secondly, Aaron wants to see a thriving Minnesota agricultural economy and believes deeply that the future of a healthy rural Minnesota depends on the energy and passion of the growing Latino community that has made rural Minnesota it’s home.