Tactics for efficient agriculture outreach targeting small and midsize farmers; a case study in the Coachella Valley

Miguel A. Garcia, Robert Pence

Abstract


A successful agriculture outreach program was implemented in the Coachella Valley among small acreage Hispanic farmers. The main objective of this program was to help farmers conserve water through active soil moisture monitoring through the use of tensiometers. To overcome the challenges of agriculture outreach, this project incorporated a one-on-one, hands-on approach with an individualized curriculum. By regularly visiting the farmers in their fields we were able to truly understand their needs and to demonstrate to them we were honestly concerned about the issues they face. This approach slowly made the farmers feel comfortable working with us and more receptive towards advice given. An important component of the project is to involve the farmer in the actual soil moisture monitoring as much as possible. By allowing farmers to actively monitor the moisture content of their soils, we were able to give the farmers a sense of empowerment and ownership of the project. This approach helped farmers trust the technology and feel comfortable using it to make irrigation decisions. Up to date, all of the participating farmers have reported using tensiometers as the main decision-making tool at the time of irrigation 


Keywords


Valley; projects; soil moisture; monitoring.

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References


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International Journal of Agricultural Extension

ISSN: 2311-6110 (Online), 2311-8547 (Print)

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