Morera, M. C., Monaghan, P. F., Galindo-Gonzalez, S., Tovar-Aguilar, J. A., Roka, F. M., & Asuaje, C. (2014). Evaluating Extension-Based Adult Education for Agricultural Labor Supervisors. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(3), 72-88. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.03072
Educating farm labor supervisors about the regulations that govern agricultural operations and employment is critical to reducing unintentional violations of workplace safety and labor laws. Cooperative Extension can provide the training needed to professionalize this vital and diverse workforce. One challenge to providing adult education to a wide-ranging audience of labor contractors, crew leaders, and farm managers is implementing a program that meets varied needs and expectations and adapts to linguistic and cultural differences. This study combined quantitative and qualitative methods to measure learning and satisfaction in a bilingual Extension training program and to evaluate the relationship between educational outcomes and program components. The study found that attendees of both the English and Spanish trainings rated the quality of their experience as either high or very high regarding the intensity of learning, the likelihood of implementing what was learned, and their overall satisfaction with the program. Furthermore, post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores for both groups. Nonetheless, English training attendees had significantly higher post-test scores than Spanish training attendees. The study concluded that successful agricultural educational program implementation is tied to adaptive teaching, staffing, and logistical strategies that respond to multicultural realities yet maintain pedagogical standards.