CALDWELL, Idaho — This year, The Northwest Farmers Union awarded Idaho Immigrant Resource Alliance with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) grant.
On their Facebook page, IIRC said they hope to connect with Latinx farmworkers to grow Magic Mana corn next year. The effort would provide job opportunities and benefit immigrant families.
They highlighted their project on Facebook saying, they contacted Brad McIntryre with McIntyre Family Farms in Caldwell to grow an acre of organic corn.
“I think it’s a great effort, and the other thing it brings back a little history, back where there used to a lot of hand shelling,” McIntyre said. “I think it’s a great thing to preserve that into the future generations as well, those skills.”
IIRC purchased the corn after it was harvested and hired a team to shell it.
After the team processed the corn, IIRA sold it to Amano, a Caldwell restaurant.
“Christina from the Northwest Alliance for Alternative Pesticides wanted to know if we would be a great fit for this project with them and to see if we had a use for their organic flour corn,” Rebecca Alamilla, co-owner of Amano said.
Alamilla said they received their first shipment last week, and before opening a restaurant, she was a teacher. She would see that sometimes families would need additional income during the slow agriculture season and hopes this project would support them.
“We are of the few restaurants that do the nixtalamation process. Why not use corn that’s here support local farmers and support other people to have an extra job opportunity and support their families during this time,” Alamilla said.