Cary Trexler, associate professor of agriculture education, received a three-year $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a comprehensive vocational agricultural extension program in Haiti. In October, Trexler headed a kick-off meeting with the Haiti Ministries of Agriculture and Finance to ensure the groundwork is laid for an effort to reestablish and invigorate what used to be a strong network of agriculture extensionists in Haiti.
Note: Since this story was written, Trexler has continued his work in Haiti. See “Haiti Education: Reopening of Schools” in the Haiti Libre newspaper (July 2014).
The Alliance for the Development of Agricultural Professional Training in Haiti (ADAPT-Haiti) is part of a larger U.S. effort to support Haiti in strengthening its agricultural sector. According to Trexler, more than 20 universities applied for the grant. “This is really exciting because providing a sustainable model for training ag extension workers to go out to the countryside is critical to Haiti’s long-term ability to succeed,” said Trexler.
Trexler, as well as agriculture education graduate students, will work with the public and private sectors in Haiti to develop a national vocational agriculture system with “dynamic learning laboratories” or student farms for educational and commercial purposes and an internship program aligned with local businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and government. Ultimately, the ADAPT-Haiti will result in national standards of quality that will guide the implementation for this model nationwide.