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Background Information

Employment History

South Central Farmers

South Central Farmers

Elected Representative
South Central Farmers

Project Manager

South Central Farm

Elected Representative



Raw Spirit Festival

Web References (35 Total References)

Rufina ...

www.ivpressonline.com [cached]

Rufina Juarez

Rufina Juarez (center), a volunteer with the Los Angeles-based South Central Farmers, talks to a group of fellows from the California Endowment Health Journalism fellowship Nov. 19 at the Watts neighborhood farmers market in Los Angeles.
Rufina Juarez has seen people who don't know where food comes from.
The nearest access to vegetables for the Los Angeles residents she works with is at corner markets, and the foods are not fresh, she said. The kids she works with have never seen farmland or even a corn stalk.
She feels kind of privileged for how she grew up, on a farm her father owned in the Westmorland area off the West Main Canal. Early on she learned the importance of the land.
"I knew no other life than having a relationship with the land and being able to eat off the land," she said.
The former Westmorland resident is using the skills she learned as a child growing up in Imperial County to help feed those in a food desert in South Central Los Angeles.
Juarez is a volunteer with South Central Farmers, a group that grew out of a 14-acre community garden in Los Angeles. Controversy surrounded the area when the land was sold and the residents and farmers of that garden were evicted.
The story is the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary, "The Garden," directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy that Juarez herself was part of.
Juarez first moved to Los Angeles after graduating with a master's degree in public administration from Bernard M. Baruch College in New York. She received a national rural fellowship to look into traffic congestion issues. She began volunteering with South Central Farmers in 2003 after teaching a group of children where corn comes from.
She started spending her weekends volunteering at the garden before the eviction notice came down.
Through years of protests and heated exchanges, the group was eventually able to get an 80-acre plot of land in Bakersfield and trucks in fresh food to the South Central Los Angeles area.
Juarez is now working to advocate for healthy eating through the Health and Education portion of the cooperative. She wants people to move away from packaged food and be conscious of what they eat.
"I think that's where change happens," she said.
Rufina Juarez is still living by the lessons her parents taught her. She works with her brothers and sisters to raise grass-fed cows in Imperial County, she said. The family grows the plant - Sudan grass in the summer and ryegrass in the winter - to feed the few heads of cattle they have.
She spends some of her weekends in the Valley working with the animals that allow her to eat more naturally-made foods, she said. It's small now, with only family and a few friends participating, but that's how projects like it start.
The whole experience has brought her back to what she learned as a child. She never thought she'd go into farming like her family, but now it's become a passion of hers, she said. She knows how important it is to continue that family tradition.

Her name is Rufina ...

www.southcentralfarmers.com [cached]

Her name is Rufina Juarez.Do not be fooled by opportunists who take the name of those people who struggled for three long years and who claim to be on our Board and to speak for our community.We can speak for ourselves and do not need others to speak on our behalf.Rufina was elected by her community to be the leader in 2004 then reelected in 2005, and 2006.

When the struggle heated up, she was attacked from different sides but did not budge from her principled position.When the attack from the City at the behest of the developer became imminent, she challenged the farmers to take a stand.They decided to stand and fight for the farm.This struggle ended in a violent eviction witnessed the world over.Poor people and their supporters were physically abused for daring to grow plants to supplement their meager diets and for daring to clean the air in one of the most contaminated parts of the City.
Rufina Juarez is presently the President of the South Central Farmers Organizations and its various components that have remained steadfast.

"People grow real serious food here," ...

www.zdlr.net [cached]

"People grow real serious food here," Rufina Juárez, a volunteer elected spokesperson for South Central Farmers Feeding Families, told The NewStandard in a recent interview."People are supplementing their vegetable and fruit intake."

Indeed, there are few grocery stores in South Central L.A., an area with one of the highest concentrations of impoverished residents county-wide.Further, a 2002 report by the USC Center for Sustainable Cities notes that low-income communities of color like South Central have Òextraordinarily low rates of park resources and access.
"Why did this place turn out to be like this?"Juárez asks rhetorically.
"There are families here that have never taken a role in terms of participating anywhere," Juárez said, "and now they know how to go to City Council, they know who their representatives are."
The farmer-organizers, however, are committed to their approach.

A March 17 article in the ...

www.zdlr.net [cached]

A March 17 article in the L.A. Weekly, based on interviews with 20 "current and former South Central farmers," portrayed the farm as the "unofficial fiefdom" of the farmers' two elected leaders, Tezozomoc and Rufina Juarez.

But the Weekly article goes further, citing farmers' concerns about the handling of group funds - about which Tezozomoc and Juarez both say they welcome close scrutiny.A strictly low-budget operation, they pride themselves on the transparency of their organization (all purchases over ,100 must be approved by the entire farmer community and all motions require a simple majority to pass).Each farmer pays a ,10 membership fee and then ,13 per month to farm the land at Alameda Avenue and 41st Street.All members are then subject to the rules of the farm.According to Tezozomoc and Juarez, many of the farmers who were evicted had engaged in sharecropping, whereby a single person would obtain multiple plots on the farm in order to produce food for profit rather than for subsistence, the original intention of the farm.
"What happened is we had a meeting," says Juarez, "and we asked people, ‘Did you know that [the farm] was going to close?
"Everyone [at the farm] would rather be farming, including Tezozomoc and Rufina.
* Rufina Juarez- Elected representative of the South Central Farmers
* Rufina Juarez- Elected representative of the South Central Farmers
* Rufina Juarez- Elected representative of the South Central Farmers

Hear about a June 13th commemoration ...

veganfeed.com [cached]

Hear about a June 13th commemoration and attempts to regain the farm from the courageous and heroic leader of the South Central Farmers' RUFINA JUAREZ, and founder of the Raw Spirit Festival - HAPPY OASIS (less...)

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