Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 5-4-2021


Agricultural Communications and Spanish

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Michelle Santiago, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Tanya Romero-González, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Naveen Musunuru, Committee Member


This thesis investigates the effects of the language barrier between English-speaking H-2A managers and their Spanish-speaking H-2A employees on Kentucky farms with special attention to the insights that can be gleaned from farm managers concerning the intersection of communication, language barriers, and the unique social and cultural environment created by the microcosm of the H-2A program. The project includes a literature review evaluating the currently documented effects of language barriers in various industries as they relate to the language barriers found within agriculture. IRB-approved interviews with farm managers provide original data to evaluate these potential effects, whether positive or negative. Since the study seeks to evaluate a language barrier’s influence on communication between employer and employee, both managers who speak Spanish as a second language and those who do not were involved in the study. The primary goal of the study was to investigate the research question of how language barriers affect the relationship between farm managers and their H-2A employees.