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MSU event will celebrate training program for Latino farmers in Michigan

MSU will host an upcoming celebration to honor a training program for first- and next-generation Latino farmers in Michigan called La Cosecha (a Spanish word for harvest).

David Mota-Sanchez, an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Entomology, leads the La Cosecha project to help Latino farmers create sustainable operations.
David Mota-Sanchez, an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Entomology, leads the La Cosecha project to help Latino farmers create sustainable operations.

Michigan State University (MSU) will host an upcoming celebration to honor a training program for first- and next-generation Latino farmers in Michigan called La Cosecha (a Spanish word for harvest).

“This is the first time in the history of the university that we honor this segment of the farming community on the MSU campus,” said Luis Garcia, director of migrant student services at MSU and a member of the project team. “La Cosecha has linked Latino farmers to critical resources and programs, and this has been an underserved audience in Michigan and around the country.”

The event will take place Sunday, March 29 at 11 a.m. at the Huntington Club on the MSU campus.

David Mota-Sanchez, an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Entomology, leads the project, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) NIFA’s Beginning Farmers program. MSU researchers, outreach specialists and other partners have been working since 2018 to empower disadvantaged Latino farmers through a $600,000 USDA grant.

Project goals include:

  • Increasing participation in USDA programs
  • Increasing access to integrated pest management (IPM) programs
  • Increasing pesticide education
  • Creating business management plans
  • Understanding crop diversification

Programming is geared toward beginning farmers and farm laborers and their children (sons-hijos and daughters-hijas). Mota-Sanchez believes this is a critical component to the training. Interested members of the Latino community with non-agriculture backgrounds are also provided resources.

“We want to help Latino farmers improve the sustainability of their operations,” Mota-Sanchez said. “Equipping them with tools to ensure the long-term success of their farms will also bring the next generation into the fold.”

Workshops are bilingual and include training on IPM, food safety, marketing and business, 4-H programs introducing youth to agriculture, how to access USDA programs, pesticide education and more.

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