Attracting immigrants and other minority groups to sustainable agriculture programs is the topic of a new online resource from Delaware State University
Posted: August 17, 2014
Author: Andy Wetherill, Delaware State University, Cooperative Extension Programs
Abstract: 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 professionals and minority communities may reveal great insight into how to reach and engage this this emerging clientele.
From 2008 to 2012, the Delaware State University Small Farms Program stepped up efforts to expand economic opportunity to the minority and immigrant communities 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 agri-business products. Our experience in working with minority communities has taught us that communicating and mingling with prospective participants at social events, and locating extension activities in close proximity to their neighborhoods has resulted in increased target audience participation in extension events. It allowed us to develop better working relationships with them. In the early years, it was more beneficial to work with them face to face than via indirect contacts.