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Garcia describes a few projects within the realm of sustainable agriculture. For example, Garcia trains extension educators on various sustainability issues. The educators may then go back to their communities and work directly with farmers and workers, “so that those farmers are more exposed to sustainable agriculture issues, including, for example, sustainable agriculture practices, natural resources, conservation issues, and funding opportunities for sustainable agriculture projects for their farms.” Garcia works as well with MU’s community of students, staff, and faculty, offering a monthly seminar called, “What’s New in Sustainable Food and Farming.”
While he sometimes presents workshops directly to Latino farmers and agricultural workers, often Garcia targets employers of food and agricultural workers. He provides them with information about legal issues, communication, and culture necessary in order to hire and retain Latino agricultural workers.
Beyond the Latino farmers and workers, Garcia does similar workshops and presentations for extension people working with Hmong and other immigrant farmers in Missouri. Part of his work involves bridging existing services, and facilitating partnerships and connections. “It has to be collaborative,” he says, “I’d kill myself if I tried to everything on my own. Success relies heavily on those collaborations.”