Intensivo Biodinamico: Piloting Spanish Language Training in Biodynamics

Project Overview

ENC20-188
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $19,288.37
Projected End Date: 09/30/2021
Grant Recipient: Biodynamic Association
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Coordinator:
Thea Carlson
Biodynamic Association

Commodities

No commodities identified

Practices

No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition. The Biodynamic Association (BDA) is a force for scaling and deepening biodynamic agriculture in the United States and beyond. Building on our successful experiences in developing a variety of educational opportunities, we are seeking funding from SARE to pilot a three-day, in-person Spanish language training in biodynamics in collaboration with Angelic Organics Learning Center (AOLC). 

The training will take place in Caledonia, Illinois, on Angelic Organics Farm and will serve as a prototype for future expansion of Spanish language biodynamic education throughout the United States. This innovative program will provide an important foundation from which we will be able to provide extensive training to connect with and serve Latinx and Spanish-speaking farmworkers, farmers, gardeners, and land stewards.

Intensivo Biodinamico will reach 30 Latinx farm managers and farm employees from peer farms in the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer alliance. The multi-day training format includes activities that will enable participants to integrate biodynamic principles and practices into their work and land stewardship. Empowering Latinx people working on and stewarding biodynamic and organic farms will foster outcomes such as strengthened relationships in the on-farm communities through a shared knowledge of biodynamics among all participants (workers/managers/owners), who will collectively and collaboratively build farm and community vitality together. Additionally, this will create awareness and opportunities for Latinx participants to access other biodynamic learning opportunities including the BDA’s Biodynamic Farmer Training Program and farmer-to-farmer education initiative. 

Project objectives from proposal:

The first output of this project will be a curriculum and training design for a 3-day residential Spanish Language training in biodynamic and organic agriculture, which can be adapted to other modalities as needed. This will include materials for trainers as well as handouts, worksheets, and other materials for participants. The design will also include a comprehensive evaluation plan and related materials which can be used for future trainings.

Our target is for 30 Latinx farmers and farmworkers to receive three full days of instruction that encompasses principles and theory of biodynamic agriculture and practical methods for implementing biodynamics on farms of various scales and types of crops and livestocks, as well as information about pathways to farm ownership and resources for support.

We anticipate that five people will participate as trainers and three people will participate as evaluators in this pilot, learning and practicing how to provide informative, practical, and engaging training in biodynamic agriculture. 

In addition, a number of support staff from the BDA and AOLC will be involved with producing and evaluating the pilot and therefore become better equipped to support future related trainings.

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.