Picture of Zoe Hollomon

Zoe Hollomon

Minnesota Updates: November 2020

As Minnesota is one of the states in which PAN does on-the-ground campaign work, we send out regular updates on PAN and partners’ work in Minnesota and beyond — from pesticide-related science to opportunities to take action. If you’d like to receive these updates via email, sign up here.

State updates

Hello from the PAN MN team!

Hoping this finds you all well and safe this fall. The COVID-19 virus is spiking across our state, claiming many more of our family and community members, colleagues, and essential workers in our food and health systems. I have lost two family members and a friend and colleague. The pain of these losses is deeply personal and a matter of public responsibility. As we head into the winter, cases are expected to rise, so please, if it’s possible stay home, mask up, and practice social distancing when around others.

In the weeks following our federal and local elections, I’m inspired to see all of the ways people organized around their values for this election. Folks volunteered in phone banks, organized voter info sessions, wrote postcards, and helped keep people safe as they voted, all during a pandemic. From action on pesticides and protecting our water, to racial and economic injustices, communities and grassroots organizations brought their issues to online forums and connected people to take action with their vote. Thanks to all of you who are making a difference in your communities with your time and labor toward equity and local control, environmental justice and food sovereignty. I am proud to organize by your side.

Being new to the PAN team, I’m excited to hear more from you about the ways you’re taking care of your communities, how you’re fighting for your values, and who you do that work with and for. I would love to be in connection with you. Please, feel free to email me at, or send me a letter or postcard to our PAN MN office at 3438 Snelling Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55406. I promise to write back!

Nationwide updates

FAO and the pesticide industry: A few weeks ago, Qu Dongyu, the Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced his intention to develop a new partnership with CropLife (the pesticide industry trade body) to transform agri-food systems. This marks a major departure for FAO, which has carefully guarded its impartiality and resisted the industry’s overtures in the past. It seems that FAO is hoping that the deal will provide capital and new technologies for its work, but there is little objective scientific evidence that CropLife’s pesticides help farmers or contribute to food security. On the other hand, there is plenty of – and growing – evidence that these chemicals are having a devastating impact on biodiversity and human health.

More than 600 civil society organizations and academic experts have called on the FAO to abandon this planned alliance with CropLife. Read more here.

Latest science

Testicular cancer and pesticides: Testicular cancer rates have been rising in the U.S., especially in the Hispanic community — which is disproportionately exposed to many endocrine-disrupting (ED) pesticides. A case-control study of 381 California-born men diagnosed with testicular germ cell tumors between the ages of 15-19 years was compared to a control (otherwise healthy) group of 762 men. Researchers used California’s pesticide use reporting database for agricultural use of 15 ED pesticides within a three kilometer radius of the participants’ birth address in the year before birth. Among the findings: nearby applications of 13 of the 15 ED pesticides were greater among Hispanic men compared with non-Hispanic men. In an analysis of individual pesticides, an increased risk for testicular germ cell tumors was associated with exposure to acephate. Read more here.


Free, at-home COVID-19 saliva testing is available in Minnesota for everyone, with or without symptoms!

Toxic Taters, the grassroots environmental justice group in northwestern MN, is looking for a new organizer!

Stand up for food chain workers! Help protect the rights of essential workers to basic protective equipment and labor protections.

Take action

Did you miss our launch party last week for Seed Keepers and Truth Tellers? Not to worry, you can watch the video here! This animated short features farmers from Senegal to Hawai’i, from the Philippines to Venezuela, exploring the origin story of genetically modified (GM) seeds, the vast implications of industrial, chemical-intensive agriculture, and how we can build toward food sovereignty and resilience. Check it out today!

Take Action

Picture of Zoe Hollomon

Zoe Hollomon

Zoe Hollomon grew up in Buffalo, NY and comes from a long line of powerful women and freedom fighters. She is an organizer with over 18 years of experience in Food and Environmental Justice organizing and community-based planning and policy, working with communities across New York State and Minnesota. In 2017 she helped start the Twin Cities Good Food Purchasing Policy Coalition, and co-founded the Midwest Farmers of Color Collective in early 2020. Zoe received her B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University in 2001 and her M.S. in Community Economic Development in 2007. She brings her organizing experience and networks with youth, farmers of color, labor, and urban and rural communities to her work with PAN. Zoe lives in Minneapolis and is a coop partner of Rootsprings, a Farm & Retreat Center for BIPOC/ LGBT health & healing.

Share this post