Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez, director of Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault (MESA), recently received the 2021 Jefferson Award Presented by Multiplying Good.
The national award recognizes individuals and organizations going above and beyond to serve their communities. Nicoletti-Martinez was one of two winners in the category of outstanding service by an employee.
Nicoletti-Martinez’s work with MESA, situated in the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication (ASEC), involves engaging with farmworkers around the state. She works with underserved and underrepresented populations in Indiana, striving to provide education and culturally relevant tools to end sexual violence and promote healthy relationships. Through her nearly 20 years working within these communities, Nicoletti-Martinez has come to understand that many farmworkers and their families live in or on the cusp of poverty.
“Most farmworkers live in abject poverty. Almost 20 years ago it became clear to me that this was an issue as I saw farmworkers going without… I decided I wanted to something about it and so I started hosting drives to get supplies out to families,” she said.
Nicoletti-Martinez also raised funds and partnered with other organizations to increase access to education, healthcare and housing in farmworker communities. To date, Nicoletti-Martinez has raised over $2 million in support of American farmworkers.
Still, she says was shocked to win the award, which was previously conferred upon labor leader Dolores Huerta and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, personal heroes of hers.
Nicoletti-Martinez said she will continue to advocate for Hoosier and American farmworkers and amplify the importance of their work.
“If anything became clear to me during COVID, it is how essential farmworkers are to all of us, all of our families and all of our communities.”
With looming threats of coffee leaf rust to farmers’ yields, Purdue University mycologist Catherine Aime is working to protect this staple of daily lives and the economies of areas throughout the world.
Aime and colleagues warned of the potential threat to the coffee industry in June. She now is part of a team supported by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and led by the Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council to investigate the fungus that causes the disease and to develop tactics to counter it.Read Full Story >>>
The United Nations will celebrate International Day of Rural Women on October 15, 2021. We will be celebrating all rural women on this day, but one Purdue woman has been chosen by the Network of Rural Women Producers in Trinidad and Tobago (NRWPTT) to be honored. DeKalb County Director and Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator Elysia Rodgers will be honored at the NRWPTT International Rural Women’s Day celebration event. Rodgers was selected because of her contributions as a goat farmer, mentor and F2F volunteer.Read Full Story >>>
Instead of relying solely on nitrogen in the soil, soybeans and many other legumes can pull nitrogen from the air for their growth – a natural process that is environmentally friendly and also increases soil nitrogen levels for the next crop in rotation.
Plant science research at Purdue University has found a potential way to double soybean plants’ use of the process, called biological nitrogen fixation.