; Outreach Methods for Minority Small Farmers -What works, what doesn´t | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Outreach Methods for Minority Small Farmers -What works, what doesn´t

Richard Molinar


Many methodologies are used to disseminate information to small farmers, e.g. group meetings, breakfast meetings, hands-on classroom, hands-on field, radio, television, video, DVD, audio tapes, newsletters, publications etc. Which methodology is used may vary from group to group depending on ethnicities, available media in the area, resources available to the communicator, and recipient characteristics (age, gender, education).

Employing a Hmong program rep assistant has contributed immensely to the success of the small farm program in Fresno County, California. Besides helping to establish trust with the community and being fluent in their languages, Michael Yang makes numerous trips out to their farms to assist them with problems.

Radio has been the most effective method utilized by Cooperative Extension for ´Hmong´ small farmers. Establishing partners such as USDA-FSA and USDA-RMA with the radio broadcasts has contributed to the diversity in topics and resulted in greater visibility for all of the organizations. Spanish radio has seen only moderate success.

Written materials can be very useful but our experience has seen a greater response from the train-the-trainer and CBO´s rather than from the individual farmer. We have materials in Lao, Hmong, Cambodian, Spanish, etc. however many of the farmers from these groups cannot read at all.

The bottom line is "get to know your clientele", and do not assume that the same method works equally well with all groups of people.