Interview with Mohamed Rago

Mohamed and three of his kids exploring the greenhouse

Interview on   27 April 2010

Lydia Caudill: L

Mohamed Rago: M

L:         What is your name?

M:        My name is Mohamed Rago.

L:         Were you a farmer in Somalia?

M:        Yes, I was a farmer when I was 8 years. Up till now.  I like to farm.

L:         What do you like to farm?

M:        I like to farm a lot of things: bananas, mangos, ah what do you call them?  I

Mohamed and baby onions

don’t remember some of the names in English, a lot of things!  Like beets and onions, a lot of things.  We know how to farm.  And how do you call them?  Squash and watermelon and zucchini.  And a lot of things, I don’t remember the names.

L:         When did you come to the United States?

M:        2005, February 17th

L:         And why did you come to the United States?

M:        Because we don’t get no country, we are refugees, we don’t know nothing.

L:         You just said you don’t know anything, but you’ve been farming since you were 8!

M:        Yeah, I was farming since I was 8 years old.  I know about farming.  My dad and my mom, every day they going to the farm and I have to go with them, I have to see what they doing.  What they farm.  And then later on I became bigger, like 10 years old.  I was helping my dad and my mom farm.

L:         So what’s your favorite thing about farming?

M:        Corn, corn and mango.

L:         Sorry, no mangos here.

M:        Yeah, I know.

L:         Are you excited about this farm?

M:        Yes, I’m very excited

L:         Why are you excited?

M:        Because.  Our life in Somalia, Somali-Bantu farms, our lives was only farms.  We farm like onions, mangos, and then we got corn and then we take it out to the shop, somebody is buying.  We don’t know trade, we don’t know how to write, we know only this.  That is why we are excited.

L:         It’s good to be farming again?

M:        Yeah, I’m very, very, very excited.

L:         What do you hope for this year, do you hope to learn or….

M:        Actually, I’d like to learn American seeds.

L:         Oh, are they very different?

M:        They are very different, like beets, different, we didn’t have in Somalia.  We learn a lot of things in America.

L:         Is there anything else you’d like to say to everyone who is listening?

M:        Wow, just say, like everybody, nice to meet you, nice to talk to you, I’m a new farmer, in America, but I know how to farm.  Thank you, bye bye everybody.  Thank you, that’s it.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Gus on May 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Hey, Lydia,

    Great work! And hello to Mohamed. Good luck with the farm.


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