University of Vermont

Reaching New Audiences by Speaking Their Language

Dubbed-Language Videos for New American Farmers

Although social media and web-based programming have proven to be effective means to provide outreach and education to many audiences, for non-English-speaking populations, this may not be the best method for disseminating information.

To address this concern, Ben Waterman, coordinator for the New Farmer Program for University of Vermont (UVM) Extension's Center for Sustainable Agriculture, has collaborated with the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV) to develop a series of dubbed-language videos on relevant topics for farmers. The "Helping New American Farmers" videos cover such topics as tomato pests and diseases, marketing farm products, conservation practices and resources for farmers.

The videos were produced by UVM Extension's Across the Fence media team and feature actors from immigrant communities speaking with experts from UVM Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and other organizations. They were produced in English and then dubbed in various languages including Nepali, Mai Mai and Kirundi.

The project was designed to help break down language, cultural and social barriers by increasing access to information by resettled refugees, recently arrived immigrants and other New American farmers unaccustomed to using, or without access to, the Internet. Although also posted online, the main method of sharing the videos has been in group settings, such as video screening workshops, which also facilitate conversations about the topic and have led to greater follow up by participants to seek additional information or assistance through USDA programs, UVM Extension and other avenues.

For more information, check out Producing Dubbed-Language Videos to Reach Audiences Across Cultures on the Journal of Extension website at

Waterman, the recipient of the 2015 UVM Extension Diversity Award for his work with culturally diverse and underserved audiences, also is involved with a three-year project to introduce resettled refugee farmers and gardeners to practices that will allow them to extend the growing season, develop business resources, grow nutritious foods and adopt healthy eating habits. The project is a collaboration of the New Farmer Program, UVM Extension's Expanded Foods and Nutrition Program and New Farms for New Americans, an AALV program.

The project team's most recent video release, produced in English, Nepali and Swahili, is called "Season Extension For Farmers and Gardeners in Cold Climates." For a look at these videos, go to

This press release written by Lisa Halvorsen.

The New American Farmer Project is one program of the UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  Established in 1994, the Center provides timely information to Vermont communities and the UVM campus.   The Center cultivates partnerships, supports innovative research and practices, and informs policy to advance sustainable food and farming systems.  Learn more at