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Poetry & Extension: Poetry as a Tool in Extension Programs


Recording Available Here

Poetry seems galaxies away from day-to-day Extension activities.  Indeed, what in the world could poetry offer Extension professionals who work with those involved in food production, nutrition efforts, or youth development?

Turns out that poetry CAN BE VERY USEFUL if you’re wanting to really involve your audience and even touch hearts in powerful ways.  Right alongside all of the science, trendlines and data that you present, poetry can bring fresh air into the room, and can grab the imagination of those might otherwise not engage. 

Skeptical?  Or curious?  Then let’s keep going!

The Art and Humanity of Poetry

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how poetry is being used to help deliver messages about an important agricultural issue, namely local and global hunger.   And here’s the key point: Hunger is just an example that illustrates how poetry can be used when discussing a variety of Extension topics to capture the attention of students in classrooms, workshops attendees, and other audiences.  By the end of the webinar, you’ll hopefully be asking yourself how poetry could serve your extension programming needs.  

Also, at the outset, let’s just be clear and very realistic…Poetry is magical, yes.  But, it rarely solves problems like bringing hunger to an end.  Having said that, it’s also true that poetry can and does help!  And, when used as a tool for teaching or workshopping or training, it can be a powerful way for you to breakthrough with elders, or youth, urban, suburban or rural residents – so that they more fully enjoy learning.      

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Dr. Hiram Larew is an award-winning poet, advocate, and leader in the Arts and Poetry community. He is the author of four poetry books. His award-winning poems have been included in many anthologies and prestigious poetry magazines, online. His poetic reach is extensive; his strong leadership as a visionarian and advocate for the Arts is recognized throughout Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

He is the founder of the Poetry x Hunger project which has not only been recognized in Prince George’s County, MD, but, internationally as well.

David Myers has been a lifelong resident of Anne Arundel County, and currently is the agricultural Extension Educator for both Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties. Prior to assuming the University of Maryland Extension position in December 1997 Dave was the agronomist for the U.S. Naval Academy Dairy Farm, where he was employed from 1980 to 1997. While working at the Naval Academy Dairy, Dave earned in 1983 a BS degree in Agronomy, Crop Science and in 1996 a MS degree in Agronomy, Weed Science from the University of Maryland. His Extension responsibilities include all field crop and livestock agriculture with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable production and marketing. Dave currently conducts fruit and vegetable research trials at the University of Maryland Upper Marlboro Research and Education Center.

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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