Agricultural Education

Spanish-language agricultural education comes to CNY

By Tim W. Shenk

Spanish speakers in New York State with established farms or who aspire to run their own farm business can now access opportunities for support, education and community.

The Futuro en Ag project of the Cornell Small Farms Program (CSFP) offers in-person and online agricultural education in Spanish.

July 28: Farm field day in Spanish

On July 28 at West Haven Farm in Ithaca, participants at a free Spanish-language farm field day will learn about food access, equity in agriculture and climate resiliency practices. Farm co-owners Carlos Aguilera and Lorena Mendoza and the Futuro en Ag team will be instructors of hands-on activities.

Aguilera wants to develop a community of Latinx farmers in New York State who share knowledge and empower a new generation of farmers around the state.

“There’s a great need to build community among Latinos who work in agriculture here,” Aguilera said. “There’s a separation that we carry with us from the times of colonization. But once we get to know each other, I begin to want to share what I know, and I ask you about your expertise, and we support each other.”

A participant from a past field day was Vicente Morales, who grew up growing corn and beans in Mexico but now tends grapes at a Finger Lakes winery. Morales valued the training. “Before today I had never had an opportunity like this,” he said. “I’d love if we could have more chances to learn from each other. There are lots of us [Latinos] in this area now, and we should support each other.”

Futuro’s lead educator, Mildred Alvarado, noted: “We are empowering ourselves to follow our dreams and see ourselves as leaders in agriculture in New York, no matter if we’re managers or employees or farm owners.”

Online learning in Spanish

Beginning in September and throughout the winter, Futuro en Ag will offer online courses in Spanish for new and aspiring farmers. BF 101: “Cómo Iniciar su Negocio Agrícola” is the introductory course, and further courses explore markets, profitability and particular enterprises such as vegetables and chickens.

Anyone who is interested in Futuro en Ag’s Spanish-first educational programs can visit or contact the team at 607-793-4969 via call, text or WhatsApp.

Caption: Carlos Aguilera will be one of the instructors in the free Spanish-language farm field day at West Haven Farm in Ithaca on July 28, hosted by the Futuro en Ag project of the Cornell Small Farms Program. Photo credit: Clara Tagliacozzo-Lee, Cornell Small Farms Program.

Other images in this post were taken from the website.

This information was provided by Tim W. Shenk. Tim joined the Cornell Small Farms Program in 2023 as the Bilingual Communications Specialist. He brings expertise in Spanish language communication, journalism, research, popular education, and classroom pedagogy. Tim is responsible for the multifaceted communications strategy for the Futuro en Ag project, and supports Spanish language online and in-person education.

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