- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
UC Cooperative Extension joins in the commemoration by sharing a sampling of its recent efforts to reach California Hispanics and Latinos. For more information about UCCE outreach to Hispanic and Latino communities in California, see UC ANR News and Information Outreach in Spanish.
CalAgrAbility helps disabled farmers and farmworkers stay in agriculture
Working on a farm is among the most dangerous of professions. “It's more dangerous to work in agriculture than in the police force,” said Esmeralda Mandujano, an educator for the UC CalAgrAbility program, located in Davis. CalAgrAbility is part of a nationwide effort funded by the USDA that supports agricultural workers with chronic disabilities or who have been injured on the job. Some conditions are very common, such as arthritis, deteriorating vision, hearing loss or mobility problems. Other ag folks face other challenges, such as amputations or spinal injuries. "We believe that solutions exist, and we are willing to do all we can to connect people with solutions that will give more control over their lives," Mandujano said. "We don't give out money, but we help them find ways to meet their needs." Bilingual staff members help locate resources, including low-cost modifications to the farm, home, equipment and work site operations. CalAgrAbility also provides technical assistance, education and training. For more information, contact Esmeralda Mandujano at (530) 753-1613, email@example.com.
UCCE helps Hispanic farmers pursue the American Dream
Hispanic farmers in Santa Cruz County are pursuing the American Dream, and they have Mark Bolda for support. Bolda, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, spent three years working with farmers in Paraguay as a Peace Corps volunteer. He learned Spanish and the value of agricultural extension. Since 2002, he has been using his language and teaching skills to reach out to Spanish-speaking farmers and farmworkers in California about research-based strawberry management practices. “When I do outreach, it's always in two languages,” Bolda said. Strawberry production is the ideal industry for immigrants to start as farm laborers and work their way up to becoming growers themselves. “With berries, you can rent a few acres and make money,” Bolda said. “I know a farmer who started with two acres and now manages a top-flight operation with 300 acres grossing $50,000 to $60,000 per acre. Hard work pays.” Some of educational meetings held in Spanish by Bolda and his colleagues have been so popular they have attracted growers from as far away as Baja California. For more information, contact Mark Bolda at (831) 763-8025, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban students give fresh ideas for conserving creek
Chollas Creek, which drains to San Diego Bay, is affected by pollution and choked by an infestation of invasive Arundo donax (giant cane). Community groups have removed Arundo, planted native species, and installed walkways, seating, shade structures and art to make the restoration areas attractive for outdoor activities. But the urban area around the creek, which has high population density and a high crime rate, continues to suffer from environmental degradation. To find out what young community members think about Chollas Creek and its surrounding outdoor areas, UC Cooperative Extension met with 35 youths from 5th through 12th grades from the neighborhood, including 31 from Latino cultural groups and four African Americans. Leigh Taylor Johnson, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Diego, asked the young people why the creek is important to them and to suggest ways to conserve water, reduce pollution and prevent the Arundo donax from infesting the creek. “I am in the process of analyzing the results,” Taylor Johnson said. “In general, I was very impressed with the insights and creative recommendations provided by the youthful participants.” Groundwork San Diego – Chollas Creek, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Jackie Robinson YMCA partnered in this research. For more information, contactLeigh Taylor Johnson at (858) 822-7802, email@example.com.
Resources available in Spanish for managing pests and applying pesticides safely
The UC Integrated Pest Management program serves Spanish-speaking urban audiences with several short videos on common pests such as ants, spiders, snails, bed bugs, and mosquitoes. Quick Tips (Notas Breves) offer advice on many pest problems and information on using pesticides safely. There are also 16 touch-screen computer kiosks located in various locations around the state where users can find pest and pesticide information in English or Spanish. For maintenance gardeners preparing to take the California Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Applicators exam in the category Q, UC IPM offers a study guide and free online training course in Spanish. For agriculture audiences, there are several pesticide safety-related books and DVDs available as well as guidelines for managing strawberry pests.
Southern California landscapers get pest management training in Spanish
An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 Spanish-speaking landscapers in San Bernardino County lack adequate expertise in integrated pest management (IPM) and safe use of pesticides, in part due to the rarity of training opportunities using the Spanish language. UC Cooperative Extension advisor Janet Hartin wanted to change this, and received a $125,000 competitive grant from the Department of Pesticide Regulation to expand integrated pest management education to Southern California Spanish-speaking landscapers. The project focuses on reducing groundwater and surface water pollution leading to water quality degradation due to overuse and improper use of pesticides and fertilizers. This grant funded educational services to Spanish-speaking landscapers at 13 workshops and hands-on as well as classroom training in 2013. Increasing educational services stressing pest prevention to this large clientele – which has quadrupled over 20 years – can significantly reduce overuse and misuse of pesticides in urban environments and improve the health and safety of the work environment for this important segment of the profession. For more information, contact Janet Hartin, (951) 313-2023, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mexico native to provide culturally sensitive nutrition programs to California Latinos
For the first time, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist is headquartered at the UC Merced campus. Karina Diaz Rios joined UCCE on Sept. 2 as a specialist in nutrition, family and consumer sciences. “I look forward to getting involved in efforts to provide culturally sensitive nutrition programs to improve the well-being of Latinos in the Central Valley, with particular attention to those living in disadvantaged circumstances,” she said. Rios has practical experience as a private practice dietitian in her native Mexico. As a graduate student in Texas, Diaz-Rios studied ways to improve eating behavior for the early prevention of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in Hispanic communities. Before joining UC, she coordinated a nutrition and cooking program at Texas Tech University. “The Central Valley has numerous health and food security issues that cross all of our cultures and populations,” said Connie Schneider, the director of the UCCE Youth, Families and Communities Statewide Program. “Dr. Diaz Rios is well suited to address Hispanic needs as well as our other many cultures, due to her experience, education and research.” For more information, contact Karina Diaz Rios at email@example.com.