A coalition of large Midwestern churches is planning an assault on Russian poverty this spring that will focus on streamlining food production and making farmers independent of government support. Heading the Russian Farm Project are the Rev. David Tyler Scoates, senior minister of Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church in Minneapolis , and Ralph Hofstad, former chief executive officer of Land O'Lakes Inc. The project is affiliated with Churches Uniting in Global Mission, a loosely organized relief agency founded by the Rev. Robert Schuller, senior minister of the Crystal Cathedral in California, Schuller's Sunday morning weekly television broadcast is seen by 10 million viewers across Russia. Churches Uniting was organized outside traditional church relief organizations to fill a need for a rapid response to global hunger. In the case of the Russian Farm Project, the mission will be launched, with approval of both the U.S. and Russian governments, less than a year after it's conception. "In Moscow I told them we wanted to be their partners," Scoates said, "and that we would return to plant seeds of hope, seeds of faith, seeds of friendship and seeds in their fields on May Day, 1993." Hofstad said test plots of potato crops will be planted during the first year of operation.