Farmers face a number of pressures, such as price, production, regulations, and financial risks. These demands may inform their decisions on production and risk management.
The Extension Risk Management Education (ERME) program, funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides training to help producers learn new strategies to manage complex and growing agricultural risks.
The ERME extension team developed a pilot program on safe and appropriate pesticide use for Hmong produce growers in Wisconsin. They modified the curriculum to present information in a culturally appropriate manner, using native language, visuals and hands-on activities when practical.
The program seeks to help producers reduce crop losses and save money through reduced spraying. By knowing and understanding the crop families, they will manage their pests more effectively and protect themselves, their crops, and the environment.
As a result of this outreach, 43 Hmong produce growers were reached. Seventy-seven percent of the participants have applied new information and skills to their farming operation. Twenty-three percent of the participants took the private pesticide applicator test, and 67 percent of those passed the exam.
The research was supported by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.