Enhancing the Capacity of Educators and Farm Leaders to work with Socially Disadvantaged Latino Farmers

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $33,750.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:
Juan Marinez
Michigan State University

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, leadership development, analysis of personal/family life, social networks


    The purpose of this project is to enhance the capacity of educators and farm leaders to work with socially disadvantaged Latino farmers by means of an educational model that integrates an Experiential Learning Curriculum (ELC) that is focused on Mexican cultural values and sustainable farming systems. The evaluation of ELP show that the program impacted the participants in several ways: understanding about culture and traditions of Latinos; cross-cultural understanding on Latinos; attitude toward Latinos, awareness of the needs, barriers, and challenges of Latinos; confidence and motivation to engage in multicultural educational programs; understanding about migration and rural poverty in Mexico.

    Project objectives:

    The goals of this Professional Development Program were the following:
    (1) to enhance the capacity of educators and farm leaders to work with socially disadvantaged Latino farmers;
    (2) to assist educators and farm leaders to become more capable in conducting sustainable food and farming outreach programs with socially disadvantaged Latino farmers;
    (3) to provide a unique reflective learning environment for the participants through a Experiential Learning Curriculum (ELC);
    (4) to improve access to current and reliable information about Latino farmers by means of a website

    The expected outcomes of this PDP are classified in short-term, intermediate and long-term.

    1. Short-Terms outcomes
    As result of program’s activities, certain short-term outcomes are expected. These include changes in participants’ awareness of the needs, barriers, and challenges of Latino farmers. Participants increased knowledge and awareness of Latino farmers’ background in sustainable farming practices. Other short-term outcomes include an increase in the participants’ knowledge about culture, traditions and family values of Latino agricultural communities. They gained understanding on Latino life styles, time orientation, and interpersonal relationships. The participants increased their awareness about important concepts in Latino communities: i.e. personal space, gender roles, informal and formal power structure, etc. Finally, the participants increased their confidence and motivation to engage in multicultural educational programs and they understood and learned strategies to build strong relationships with immigrant farmers as part of their outreach mission (Please refer to the section “Result and Discussion”).

    2. Intermediate-outcomes
    The intermediate outcomes were the result of the short-term outcomes:
    (1) plan and design appropriate educational programs with cultural sensitivity for beginning and new Latino farmers in sustainable agricultural systems;
    (2) develop creative and constructive educational programs in accordance with the needs of Latino farmers;
    (3) relate positively to immigrant farmers;
    (4) knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/ethnic backgrounds;
    (5) accept and understand immigrants or beginning farmers’ limitations;
    (6) establish mutually satisfying relationships with immigrant farmers;
    (7) positive attitude toward diversity issues; and
    (8) engage Latino farmers in program development.

    3. Long-term outcomes
    The systemic changes should include:
    (1) improve partnership and communication among Latino farmers and agricultural agencies, NGO’s, and farm leaders in order to contribute to the productivity, viability and greater environment awareness of Latino agricultural communities;
    (2) increase the effectiveness of educational program with immigrants, beginning/new farmers in a sustainable agricultural system in NCR; and
    (3) improve the economy, the environment and the social well being of Latino agricultural communities in the NCR.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.