facebook-24x24

underserved populations rsNew Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service county agents Marcella Talamante, Laura Bittner and Karim Martinez are doctoral students researching ways to help deliver Extension programs to the under-served populations of their counties. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, jmoorman@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Karim Martinez , 575-525-6649, karmarti@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Laura Bittner , 505-565-3002, lbittner@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Marcella Talamante , 505-685-4523, marctala@nmsu.edu

Since the beginning of the land-grant university Cooperative Extension Service in 1914, rural, urban and suburban citizens have received research-based information to improve their lives. For example, Extension agents have helped farmers and ranchers achieve greater success, improved the health and wellness of families, and prepared youth to become future leaders.

New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences administers the state's Cooperative Extension Service in every county and continues to strive for excellence in serving its communities.

Society has changed since the early days of Extension to include a growing number of minorities and urban communities. Nationally, Extension is adapting to reach these new and often underserved audiences. New Mexico, as a multicultural state, provides many opportunities for NMSU's CES to reach diverse audiences.

Three CES agents, Karim Martinez, Laura Bittner and Marcella Talamante, see the importance of providing Extension information to diverse audiences and have embarked on an educational path of self-improvement to better equip themselves to meet the needs of today's changing society.

"My studies in the Educational Leadership and Administration Ph.D. program have definitely created greater awareness of the importance of reaching under-served populations, which is for whom Extension was originally established," said Bittner, program director of NMSU's Valencia County CES. "I am more mindful of challenges under-served populations may encounter accessing and participating in CES programming."

The College of Education graduate students recognize the importance of social justice, equity and cultural competence in their profession.

"This program has given me a new perspective on things I'm already doing," said Talamante, program director for Rio Arriba County CES. "Social justice means fairness to all members of your community. We have focused on equality when providing our programming, but now we need to think in terms of equity, to ensure that our programs are not only accessible, but that we communicate our offerings in ways necessary to reach everyone."

As the program director of Dona Ana County CES, Martinez works to deliver programs in culturally appropriate ways.

"Living in a border community and being bilingual has allowed me to bring Extension resources to audiences who may not have had access to this information in the past," Martinez said. "As Spanish-speaking populations increase nationally, some CES agents may find it challenging to reach this audience, especially if they have limited experience with Latino cultures, or are not bilingual."

Martinez is interviewing bilingual CES professionals nationally to learn from their experiences reaching Spanish-speaking audiences.

"I want to provide the Extension Service with strategies to improve outreach efforts to this audience, which can mean adapting programs in culturally appropriate ways," she said.

Bittner has learned that developing cultural competence is not just understanding societal traditions, but also recognizing that each individual has personal and family traditions, or ways of knowing and doing things.

"People living in the same neighborhood, of same ethnicity, religion, age, or economic group have different ways of doing things," Bittner said. "When providing educational programs, we must be aware these differences exist so we remain inclusive and communicate clearly and effectively."

Bittner's dissertation will specifically look at how Extension agents perceive their own cultural competence, barriers for developing cultural competence, and methods Extension agents use to reach and serve culturally diverse audiences.

"Cultural competence within CES is a growing topic across the United States," Bittner said of the concept being addressed in the education, health and medical fields. "Nationally, CES is working to improve cultural competency of Extension agents. New Mexico CES is well positioned to serve as the model for reaching a growing, ethnically and culturally diverse population because New Mexico has such rich cultural diversity."

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
captcha 
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

The Beat as a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers!  

WARNING:

All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com