Latinos and Agriculture: A Changing Demographic

Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch, Penn State Extension Food Safety, IPM and Water Quality Extension Educator - Horticulture Team
Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch

Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch

Date and Location

When (Date/Time)

July 27, 2018, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


208-A Buckhout Laboratory

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The Land-grant University is a system composed of institutions of higher education throughout the nation, established by the U.S. Congress through the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, to provide broad-based education and benefits to the public. As Pennsylvania’s land-grant institution, Penn State has the privilege and responsibility of addressing state and national needs through teaching, research and extension. The Cooperative Extension Service brings information and technology gained through research to the public. Penn State Extension is an educational network that gives people in Pennsylvania's 67 counties access to the University's resources and expertise.

According to the 2013 report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ag Census, the average age of farmers in the US has increased, the number of new farmers has decreased while the number of Hispanic operated farms has increased 21 percent between 2007 to 2012.

Due to the current demographic changes, Latinos' role will increase in importance, in leadership and in numbers. Latinos will play a critical role in the future of US Agriculture and related fields. Cooperative Extension currently needs an increasing amount of bilingual Extension Educators to fulfill its mission.

Penn State Extension is actively reaching out to Latinos and providing statewide educational programs in Pests and Pesticide Management, Farm Safety, Food Safety, Best Milking Practices, Horticulture, etc and is providing agricultural business development and risk management information to potential Spanish-speaking new farmers throughout the state..

The increasing demand of these programs due to the higher number of Latino operators/workers is faced nationally by a low numbers of Latino Extension Educators with a command of the Spanish language.  My presentation in this seminar intends to increase participant’s awareness, of the increasing need of bilingual Extension Educators, the career opportunities that Extension will offer to students in Ag and related fields, and Penn State’s current programming in Spanish to help Latinos farmers in PA. I will also propose internship opportunities for students in the College of Ag.

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