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Nurturing agricultural migrant workforce
Luisa Santamaria: Oregon State University
<div>There is a growing demand for appropriate training opportunities for the U.S. agricultural workforce. Immigrants make up the majority of this workforce and about 67% of them are Spanish-speakers. Traditional, face-to-face training is the most common approach in extension, but work schedules make this method a limited option for consistent, ongoing trainings. We are constantly evaluating the educational needs to help this workforce be more efficient in their daily activities. Steps have been taken in this direction to train workers in different aspects of plant health to prevent plant diseases in Oregon's nursery and Christmas tree production systems. One of our new approaches was to develop a hybrid teaching class (blend of online as well a face-to-face instruction) and to assess the reception of this teaching method by immigrant workers. The delivery method was very well received by the participants and the possibility to reach more workers with this approach is promising. Printed educational material is also an important tool to support trainings for this adult audience. Some bilingual materials (pocket booklets, fact sheets, posters, and web responsive and mobile friendly materials) have been developed to create plant disease awareness. This presentation will provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities of creating an active and inclusive educational program geared towards Spanish speaking migrant workers.</div>

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