University of Kentucky

Poster Title

How Scientific Information is Communicated to a Spanish Speaking Public: A Descriptive Review of Agricultural Extension in Latin America

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology, Biology, Spanish

Institution

University of Kentucky

KY House District #

6

KY Senate District #

34

Department

Hispanic Studies

Abstract

The United States agricultural extension system is considered among the world’s most robust; following the formalized relationship between the land grant universities and the federal government in 1914, US agriculture has become significantly more productive and sustainable. The same cannot be said for much of Latin America; despite Latin America’s large agricultural sector and global reliance upon Latin America’s diverse agricultural exports, many countries outpace Latin America in productivity. Much of this stall in development is suspected to result from inaccessibility of information. Those that conduct primary research in agriculture generally publish in English while most agricultural producers in Latin American nations generally exclusively speak Spanish. Given that agriculture is tied to the development of a country, a more robust agricultural system, including better language access, allows for economic diversification and increased economic stability. An examination of the ways Latin American countries make information accessible to agricultural producers may help to stabilize the economies of Latin America and other regions as well. This study seeks to compare the extension systems of the US and four predominantly Spanish speaking countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Uruguay. A description of what kind of information is available and how it is communicated to the public will help to assess whether the current systems are contributing to the stall in agricultural development. Another consideration is how to integrate the kind of information transfer seen in the US into the existing infrastructure of each nation.

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How Scientific Information is Communicated to a Spanish Speaking Public: A Descriptive Review of Agricultural Extension in Latin America

The United States agricultural extension system is considered among the world’s most robust; following the formalized relationship between the land grant universities and the federal government in 1914, US agriculture has become significantly more productive and sustainable. The same cannot be said for much of Latin America; despite Latin America’s large agricultural sector and global reliance upon Latin America’s diverse agricultural exports, many countries outpace Latin America in productivity. Much of this stall in development is suspected to result from inaccessibility of information. Those that conduct primary research in agriculture generally publish in English while most agricultural producers in Latin American nations generally exclusively speak Spanish. Given that agriculture is tied to the development of a country, a more robust agricultural system, including better language access, allows for economic diversification and increased economic stability. An examination of the ways Latin American countries make information accessible to agricultural producers may help to stabilize the economies of Latin America and other regions as well. This study seeks to compare the extension systems of the US and four predominantly Spanish speaking countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Uruguay. A description of what kind of information is available and how it is communicated to the public will help to assess whether the current systems are contributing to the stall in agricultural development. Another consideration is how to integrate the kind of information transfer seen in the US into the existing infrastructure of each nation.