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Maura Bennett Spanish for Animal Healthcare
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: September 03, 2018

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A new undergraduate certificate at Colorado State aims to close the language gap between Spanish speaking farm and ranch hands and English speaking animal healthcare providers.

But the certificate program is unique because the instructor Shannon Zeller and Professor Maura Velázquez-Castillo did hours of field work to create curriculum which also addresses cultural barriers.

“People who just arrived here they are facing a big cultural task of adapting quickly to a culture that they know nothing about. And we talk about the cultural aspect of displacement. There’s a lot of isolation.”

Professor Velazquez-Castillo says the culture course is based on narratives gleaned from actual events as told by workers and managers and interpreters.

The certificate “Spanish for Animal Health and Care” will be offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures beginning this fall.

CSU researchers say currently between 80 and 90 percent of farm and ranch workers is made up of Spanish speaking immigrants with low English proficiency. Specialized medical language needed in animal health care covers everything from disease diagnosis and treatment to feeding, milking, birthing and preventive medicine.

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