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LUISA SANTAMARIA PROVIDES CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR LATINO NURSERY WORKERS

In a recent article in the Digger (September 2013) Luisa Santamaria's program is highlighted.

In the opening paragraph of the article authored by Luisa and Melissa Lujan (Melissa Lujan is the Grower Assisted Inspection Program (GAIP) coordinator at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, they begin:

"During our visits to nurseries, we always wonder howmuch work has to be done in order to have beautiful plants lining the field. Every colorful display of greenery is only made possible through years of effort, experience and knowledge.

When we think of all the complex scientific information involved in producing plants, we also think of the workforce at the nurseries. Managers and owners have many opportunities to stay updated and follow advances in scientific research.

For a great number of workers, however, the training opportunities are far fewer. The language barrier also limits their continuing education possibilities.
Therefore, in the last four years, the Oregon State University Nursery Extension, Research and Education program has been working constantly to assess the training necessities for the nursery industry in Oregon. Through this program, we
have implemented bilingual educational programs to reach nursery workers, managers and owners at their facilities.

An understanding of basic plant physiology, pathology and propagation for all nursery employees will always be an advantage for the advancement of the industry, and it can maintain and increase quality and productivity.

So, how do we introduce this vital scientific knowledge into the daily activities of the workers? That has been, and still is, our challenge."
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