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Learning Mechanic Basics 

Participants get lessons in maintenance and farm equipment use

Attendees of the Farm Mechanic Basics Program for Spanish speakers were introduced to a wide variety of farm equipment on November 12 including the roller-crimper and combine.

The Farm Mechanic Basics Program offers hands-on experience with agricultural mechanics in a state-of-the-art machine shop through eight day-long sessions targeting farmers and other agricultural workers. The program, led by our Ag Education & Training Program, launched in late October. Many of the students work in production at area farms. The sessions are taught by members of our farm operations team and Shane LaBrake a bilingual consultant in organic agriculture.

Far-right Shane LaBrake, a bilingual consultant in organic agriculture, reviews a variety of farm equipment with participants of the Farm Mechanic Basics Program for Spanish.

During the past session, LaBrake reviewed the parts and maintenance of small engines, emphasizing that the maintenance skills for older equipment carry over to new equipment.

“It is such a huge benefit to be able to appreciate all the older machinery and all the newer modern machinery,” said Jay Guzman a participant who came from generations of farming in his homeland of El Salvador. He notes that equipment maintenance is critical to farming success.

Daniel Mendez, a participant, said that on the farm where he works the production team often uses equipment such as tractors, mowers, and discs, “but we never used those machines,” he said nodding at the combine. “We have to learn.”

On November 18 Farm Mechanic Basics Program for Spanish speakers concluded. The same workshop, this time for English speakers, begins on December 10 and runs through February.

To learn more about the Agricultural Education and Training Program click here.

–Amy Wu

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