Read letters from the Nicaraguan young growers on “What it Means to be an Extensionist”

Agricultural Extension Program: Talolinga

Young Grower Alliance & Project Gettysburg Leon

March/April letters and updates from Javier and Marvin

Javier Espinoza - What it means to be an Extensionist

"Hello YGA Friends!

It's a pleasure to greet you by means of this message.

An extensionist in our community of Talolinga is a person who seeks a way to learn innovative things that will serve towards the development of the community. We learn about rural development and then we volunteer to help our people to reach goals that will allow them to have better nutrition through sustainable agricultural production.

We believe that what makes us good extensionists is by 'belonging to the land' and it is this which allows us to see the problems that exist in our community. Therefore we seek to find ways to help each other improve as we move along this path. Each day we take steps towards our goal of sustainability and we work to increase our knowledge on topics that the Talolingans need to reach this goal.

I know that Marvin is a young man that doesn't have a lot of experience as an extensionist, but he is giving his all to make basic dreams become a reality and reach our goal of sustainability in the future.

In my case, I have a big dream and it is to see my community be sustainable as well as assist other communities in this. My goal is to work with my people to make sure this dream becomes a reality. We give as we receive, giving all of ourselves to achieve what we are working towards.

I must thank you all for your good intentions towards us all. It's incredible to see how you all support us and is something that gives me a lot of strength and courage to continue so the dreams for our future become a complete reality.

This week Marvin will probably send a form or agreement that will specify his goals for the year. I will do the same. We will be ready with a small summary of our classes and a description of how we apply them to our community.

Again, thank you for everything. Every day that passes, I feel a larger commitment as an extensionist to help my people, which is an incredible feeling. Thank you all for giving your support. For that thank you, thank you very much.


Marvin Ramirez - What it means to be an Extensionist

"Hello YGA Friends,

I hope you are well and it is a pleasure for me to communicate with you for the first time through my email account. Thank you for the opportunity that I am receiving with your support of my studies, I hope that what I will be learning will benefit my community.

My work as an extensionist in Talolinga is just beginning. Among others, it is a desire of mine to see my community develop and so I ask God to give me the strength that this becomes a reality. I have set a long term goal for myself so that in the future these dreams of mine will come to fruition.

One goal is to find a way to have feed for livestock during the summer. In the summer season it is critical for livestock to have proper nutrition because many animals die or become ill due to the lack of feed. Another goal is to work with families so they can take advantage of other common animals we have such as chickens. If we can improve the chickens' diet, this could increase egg and meat production as well as improve the family's income. Some other goals I have are to be very responsible in my university classes, get good grades and take advantage of this opportunity that you all have given me.

Through workshops I also hope to increase my knowledge about diversifying and improving the summer diet of livestock.

With that, I send you my Greetings.

-Marvin José Ramírez Aguirre"

Javier Espinoza - An Update

"Hi YGA Friends!
I hope that you are very well and the same for the YGA group members. Today I send this email from Talolinga, hoping that I can do so again soon.

Friends, I give thanks to God because in the university I am taking classes on crops 1, fertility and fertilization, and production systems. Previously, I received schooling in irrigation and drainage, phyto-pathology, and soil fundamentals.

Crop 1 is teaching me how to make technological charts which are very important to keep track of business expenses and losses. It also teaches me to understand how much I am investing in my crops. Fertility and fertilization teaches me how to fertilize a crop when it is necessary and when not to apply a fertilizer application on a crop. Production systems teaches me how to organize a farm, and teaches me how important it is to have a biologically diversified farm and to always consider the health of the soil and environment. Irrigation and drainage teaches me about the different forms of irrigation that exist and I learned how to install drop irrigation. Phytopathology taught me how to identify the different diseases in crops. Soil fundamentals taught me soil types and how to identify them, as well as what work I can do to conserve the soil.

Well, thank God I've been able to put into practice all of these things in my community and have installed a drip irrigation system. We are currently working on improving the biodiversity of the farmers' fields as well as that of the gardens. My desire is to learn more about rural development, which the production systems class will address. One way or another our classes are fundamental for community development.

Thank you for this opportunity that you have given me to attend university, and we hope that our community very much appreciates the help that you give us. Thank you for everything and greetings to everyone in YGA.


Marvin Ramirez - An Update

"Hi YGA Friends!

I hope you are all well. I'm sending this brief message so I can tell you how very thankful I am that you are sponsoring my university studies and have given me this opportunity.

Thanks goodness I've passed the first trimester at university, that is to say three fundamental courses that everyone in the program must complete. They are basic mathematics, holistic development and general biology. As you know these are my first steps. One thing that is very important to know is a bit of mathematics to do my calculations. Holistic development is important because it teaches us how to integrate into society. In biology we learn about everything about living organisms.

This is teaching me how to treat people in a workshop and, well friends, there is not too much that I have shared with my people yet, but I believe that in this coming trimester I will have more classes that will be relevant to them and that will give me the opportunity to teach them.

Thank you for everything,

- Marvin Ramirez"

Contact us

Donald Seifrit
  • Extension Educator, Tree Fruit