Attracting immigrants and other minority producers to sustainable agricultural programs is one of the most challenging tasks faced by extension professionals. However, regular communication between extension processional and minority communities may reveal great insight on how to reach them and work with them.
During the period of 2008 to 2012, Delaware State University Small Farms Program stepped up efforts to expand economic opportunity to the minority and immigrant community in Delaware. The goal was to bring socially disadvantaged groups to the farm table through a myriad of extension events. The objective was to increase the number of minorities who are growing and marketing agribusiness products. So what are some lessons that were learnt from working with these minority communities?
We saw that attending social events, popular to the minority groups, allowed us to mingle with prospective participants for our extension events. This allowed us to develop working relationship with them. In the early years, it was more beneficial to work with them face to face than via indirect contacts.
We locate extension events in close proximity to their local communities. This increase prospective participants willingness to attend the events.
We ensure that they assisted in the planning and execution of workshops designed for them. In this way we were able to get significant interaction and feedback from the workshop
Over the past 2 years Delaware State University has seen an increase in agricultural activity among minority groups, resulting in increased economic activity within the state.
|Conference||2013 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|