IPM Outreach to the Latino Farming Community

Recorded April 21, 2021

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Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch

Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch, Horticulture Extension Educator at Penn State.

Throughout the U.S., the growing number of Latino operators and workers in agriculture is increasing demand for extension programming accessible to those who speak Spanish as their first or only language.

However, the extension system boasts relatively few Spanish-speaking and/or Latino educators, which creates a bottleneck between extension knowledge and many who can benefit from it.

Penn State Extension has provided a case study in how to address this challenge on a statewide basis. They have been actively reaching out to Pennsylvania’s Latino farming community and providing educational programs in pest and pesticide management, farm safety, food safety, best milking practices, and horticulture, among other topics. They are also providing agricultural business-development and risk-management information to potential Spanish-speaking new farmers throughout the state.

This webinar will provide an overview of the ways Penn State is engaging with their Spanish-speaking audiences. It will discuss the need for bilingual extension educators, in addition to the career opportunities that extension offers to students in agriculture and related fields.

Although the content will focus on what Penn State Extension has been doing in Pennsylvania, it may also be of interest to extension agencies and educators in other states facing similar language-barrier challenges.

Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch

Horticulture Extension Educator at Penn State

Maria is based out of Chester and Berks counties. She conducts educational programs in the areas of vegetable, small fruit and mushrooms production; green industry; IPM solutions, FSMA, GAP and farm food safety; beginning farming and pesticide safety for various agricultural industries in Pennsylvania. For the past 10 years, Maria has also been adapting new, culturally appropriate trainings and outreach materials and assessing the needs of the Latino Community.

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