Migrants, Farming, and Immigration: Beginning a Dialogue in Agricultural Education

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Journal of Southern Agricultural Education Research


Based upon quantitative survey data from 359 students, aged thirty or younger, at a large, state university that serves a relatively balanced rural / urban population, this manuscript outlines what Southern young people, particularly young educators, think they know and what they believe regarding the workers who are essential to their daily diet of fruits and vegetables: America’s immigrant and migrant farm workers. The participants’ attitudes are compared and contrasted with their relevant life experiences and backgrounds such as: gender, race / ethnicity, political affiliation, and agricultural experience. Using a factor analyses, significant clusters of semantically and statistically valid background experience subgroups and participant attitudes are extracted from the survey data. These explanatory factors are then cross-referenced to map out crucial and often surprising differences and similarities in the knowledge and attitudes of various sub-populations including: teachers, young people with farm work experience, and selfidentified political groups.