Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002486/00001
 Material Information
Title: Reaching Hispanic Farmworker Audiences: What Can We Do as Extension Educators?
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Place, Nick T.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Original publication date February 2006. Revised August 2007."
General Note: "AEC-375"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00002486:00001

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AEC-375 Reaching Hispanic Farmworker Audiences: What Can We Do as Extension Educators?1 Nick T. Place and Dilcia Toro2 1. This document is AEC-375, one of a series of the Agricultural Education and Communication Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date February 2006. Revised August 2007. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Nick T. Place, associate professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; Dilcia Toro, MS graduate student, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean Are you interested in offering programs to Hispanic farmworkers but have found limited interest from them to attend your programs? Have you encountered barriers with Hispanic farmworker audiences, and wondered how to address them? Have you wondered about the best ways for engaging Hispanic farmworkers into your extension programs? Introduction and Background According to the US Census Bureau (2000), Florida is the fourth largest state in the US, and Hispanics represent the largest minority group. The current population in the state of Florida consists of just over 17 million people, of which 2.8 million (16.8%) are of Hispanic origin. Additionally, numerous Hispanics are migrant farmworkers working in Florida agricultural industries including dairy, livestock, vegetable production, nurseries and landscaping. Extension educators need to consider the level of formal education and language as they work with various populations. For example, according to The National Agricultural Workers Survey, 2001-02 published March 2005, only 13 percent of migrant workers had completed 12 years of schooling. In addition, Spanish was the predominant language for 81% of migrant farm workers, followed by English (18%). Changing demographics and distinct cultural factors relevant to Hispanic farmworkers have prompted the necessity for culture-specific programming (Knoche and Zamboanga, 2003). As a nationwide educational network established through the Smith-Lever legislation in 1914, the US Cooperative Extension System faces the challenge of addressing the educational needs of migrant farmworkers. These efforts should focus on offering relevant and appropriate training for the benefit of bettering peoples' quality of life. A well-developed program that assures that the target audience will be reached takes more than good educational material. Because of education levels and


Reaching Hispanic Farmworker Audiences: What Can We Do as Extension Educators? 2 language, a targeted audience may have lower speaking and writing skills and literacy levels in English and/or Spanish. This causes difficulty with communication and understanding. Many Hispanic farmworkers are immigrants who move from place to place depending on work opportunities, and they are frequently placed in high-risk occupations and industry sectors. Their role as migrant farmworkers limits the amount of time available for activities other than work. Nonetheless, engaging immigrant farm workers and their families in extension programs could have tremendous impact for them and their employers. The remainder of this document provides useful information that will help those who serve Hispanic farmworkers and their families by providing guidelines that should be taken into account when designing a program for them. The guidelines are divided into three primary stages. These stages consist of planning, including all those activities done before a program actually starts; implementation, relating to the actual delivery of educational activities; and evaluation, consisting of determining the educational delivery strategies that will be most effective for a specific clientele group. Implementation Stage When delivering a program to Hispanic audiences keep in mind that you should emphasize family values, cultural heritage, teamwork, group learning, and focus on maintaining audience attention. Establishing good communication with the participants and involving them in different learning activities will lead to greater program success. Tips that can help accomplish this include: Have bilingual professionals handle registration. Take some initial time in the beginning of the program to socialize in order to understand the audience and build relationships with the participants. This step is necessary in order to get to know the group better. As people begin to know you and the other participants, they develop trust, and it will be possible to achieve better results since they feel ownership with the group. Proceed slowly, thoughtfully, and incrementally. Deliver only a small amount of instruction at once. This will enable the audience to better grasp the important concepts and ideas that are necessary to understand the whole program. Be sure to establish and communicate with participants through the use of clear and measurable objectives. Use these objectives as building blocks so that participants can see how they are progressing. Because there are many different forms of Spanish language, when translating existing material into Spanish, adapt it for a specific targeted audience rather than simply translating it literally. Use classroom settings that enable hands-on and experiential learning. These could include computer-aided lectures using clear examples, numerous pictures, and understandable text with bilingual content. Include do-it yourself exercises by letting each participant do the work after proper instruction and material is given out to him/her, for example letting each person do graphing on a plant. Messages must be simple, brief and clear keeping in mind that the language used must be appropriate to the educational level of the target audience. It may be necessary to use Spanglish (a mixture of Spanish and English in words or sentences). According to Johnson (1999), there are two basic approaches to Spanglish, with countless variations: code-switching (mixing) and borrowing. Code-switching is moving from one language to another in a normal conversation [ex: "it is very important to honor you abuelitas (grandparents)"]. Borrowing is the adaptation of an English word into a Spanish form [ex: "Quiero parquear (park) el coche"]. Encourage participants to actively discuss the topic being addressed. This way you as the educator can obtain useful information about the participants' previous and new knowledge and understanding about the topic. This will help you improve the program and focus on the most pertinent information. Moreover, oral discourse


Reaching Hispanic Farmworker Audiences: What Can We Do as Extension Educators? 3 improves retention of information among those who are actively involved. Prepare appropriate handouts and printed materials for attendees as reinforcement of the educational activities and for future reference. Keep in mind that each participant appreciates some type of recognition, for example, giving them a bilingual diploma or certificate upon completion of an activity or set of activities which are part of a comprehensive educational program. Evaluation process According to the National Academy of Sciences (2003) a solid evaluation process is needed so that materials can be judged as efficacious before being introduced to clientele. Also, a program of ongoing (formative) evaluation is important to assure that the target population understands the key concepts and that the program continues to improve. Pilot test educational materials with the target population to assess items such as appropriate messages, literacy level and readability, terminology, and graphics. Obtain and use feedback from trainees to determine comprehension level of materials. Evaluate various delivery methods to determine which practices work best, for example, PowerPoint slides, oral presentation, hands-on activities, visuals, or a mixture of multiple methods, etc. Also determine if the program's learning objectives were reached, for determining any need to follow-up and future program needs. The National Academy of Sciences (2003) identified the following criteria when evaluating educational programs for appropriateness with Hispanic audiences: Whether materials for Hispanic workers are presented in a manner that is "culturally and linguistically competent," comfortable to the worker, and not offensive; Whether materials are grammatically correct but in the vernacular of the workers, even when it may be a mix of Spanish and English; Whether the information provided is technically sound for their specific needs; and, Whether the subject matter is compatible with audience priorities and needs. Summary Hispanic farmworkers are a critical part of Florida's population, and it is critical that Cooperative Extension take steps towards addressing their educational needs. By focusing on their specific needs across the three phases of program development, extension educators will encounter greater success and impact with this important clientele group. Success Story An example of an effective program developed to reach Hispanics is the Hispanic Worker Family Health and Safety Fair held at Milander Park (an auditorium in Hialeah, Florida) on March 27, 2004. It was coordinated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) Region IV, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Office; the University of South Florida (USF), College of Public Health Safety Florida Consultation Program; and the USF/OSHA Training Institute. The fair was developed to promote outreach to Hispanic families and hard to reach employees, especially those individuals unable to read and/or understand instructions in English. It focused on educating Hispanic workers and their families on workplace safety and health issues to help reduce injuries and fatalities, especially in the construction and landscaping industries. Over three hundred workers and their families attended the fair, which included twenty-four safety training workshops, health screenings and childrens vaccinations. The workshops, offered several times throughout the day by safety experts lecturing exclusively in Spanish, covered eight safety and health training subjects. Workers were encouraged to attend the safety training workshops through an incentive program. This program offered whoever attended a minimum of three sessions the chance to


Reaching Hispanic Farmworker Audiences: What Can We Do as Extension Educators? 4 win a 1995 Chrysler Concorde. In addition, the fair attendees had the opportunity to take part in free health screenings which included among others, checking for high blood pressure, heart rate and pulmonary condition, cholesterol levels, eye examinations, and information and shots to prevent childhood diseases. The fair was a tremendous success, training about two hundred workers in several of the twenty-four sessions conducted, while about one hundred of their spouses and children participated in safety and health clinics (http://www.osha.gov). Bibliography Bernard, S., Carroll, D., Gabbard, S., Hernandez, T., Samadrick, R. (2005). A Demographic and Employment Profile of United States Farmworkers. Findings from The National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) 2001-2002, 9. Retrieved July 28, 2005 from http://dol.gov Bocanegra, M., Warrix, M. (1998). Keys to Building Successful Training Programs for Hispanic Family Day Care Providers. Journal of Extension, 36, 6. Retrieved February 25, 2005 from http://www.joe.org Johnson, A. (1999). That curious mixture of English and Spanish is here to stay. The Broadsheet. Retrieved August 1, 2005 from http://www.spainview.com/spanglish.html Knoche, L., Zamboanga, B. (2003). Voices from College Student Mentors: Implications for Extension Programming with Latino Youth. Journal of Extension, 41, 3. Retrieved February 2, 2005 from http://www.joe.org National Academy of Sciences. (2003). Safety is Seguridad: A Workshop Summary. Retrieved May 15, 2005 from http://www.nap.edu