“We Do That!” – Bilingual Pesticide Education

by | Jun 27, 2024

The sixth video in the “We Do That!” series focuses on Carmina Hanson who is a bilingual employee who helps Spanish speaking farm workers learn and understand North Carolina’s pesticide law. Hanson works in the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division.
As with the other videos in the series, the goal is to showcase one of the many different types of jobs within the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. If you can think of a type of job, there’s a chance “We Do That!” in the department – from the fields of research farms to the laboratories that test for animal disease and food and drug safety. It takes lots of jobs to service the people of North Carolina through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Across the department’s 26 divisions, you’ll find jobs in the field that deal with plants, animals, farmers markets or ag centers, pesticide regulations, pollinators, meat processing, truck driving and forestry, just to name a few. Many jobs in the department are also based in offices or laboratories, from veterinary or agronomic testing, to accounting, legal services and marketing. Other examples of NCDA&CS jobs include chemists, lawyers, lab technicians, veterinarians, foresters, soil scientists, marketing and communications specialists, gas inspectors and engineers.
The series continues with this video of Commissioner Steve Troxler talking with Hanson, who is based at the Steve Troxler Agricultural Sciences Center in Raleigh. However, her job often takes her to meeting rooms and farms across the state. Her work is a vital part of the division’s Pesticide Section, which has the following mission: “To protect the public health, safety and welfare, and to promote continued environmental quality by minimizing and managing risks associated with the legal use of pesticides through administration and enforcement of the N.C. Pesticide Law of 1971 and pursuant regulations adopted by the N.C. Pesticide Board.”
Hanson is also an example of the diverse workforce across the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Watch this video for the conversation about her job and/or read the transcript below.

Commissioner Troxler:
Hello, I’m Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, and today I have with me Carmina Hanson, who is a pesticide outreach specialist.
You’ve been with us for quite some time, and what do you do in the department that helps people?

I’m the bilingual pesticide specialist with the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division.
And my job is a liaison between our division, farmers and farm workers, primarily the ones that are not able to speak English.

Commissioner Troxler:
We do a lot that touches people every day.
How do you… how does your job impact the residents and the workers of North Carolina?

Part of my job is communicating the North Carolina pesticide law and being able to send the message out that it is important – the safe use of pesticides to protect the individuals and the environment of some kind of exposure.

Commissioner Troxler:
If I were to ask you, what is a typical day in your job, what would you tell me?

Well, I don’t have a day-to-day routine per se.
Some days I’m working in the field with our inspectors or with North Carolina State University Extension personnel.
And some days I’m in the office doing translations or reviewing materials, educational materials and work collaborating with other agencies in the state and across the US.

Commissioner Troxler:
What is the most rewarding part of everything you do working for the department?

Carmina Hanson presents information in a pesticide education session

I love being part of agriculture.
I love serving the agriculture industry in the state. I think being able to communicate with people that may not get the message otherwise and help people in their daily jobs is one of the most rewarding parts for me.

Commissioner Troxler:
A lot of people aspire at a young age to do something.
Did you ever think you’d be working in agriculture?

I always hoped to.
I come from a family of farmers.
I grew up on a cattle ranch, and I have always loved and respected the work that my parents and grandparents did.

Commissioner Troxler:
There are a lot of things that you have to do on a daily basis, and I know being bilingual is one of them.
But what other kind of skills does your job require?

Well, certainly the ability to speak Spanish is the most important part, but I think that it is
just as important and necessary to be able to talk to people, communicate with them, and also being able to relate to their work and their jobs every day.

Commissioner Troxler:
I’m going to put you on the spot now.
How do you feel about working for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, and would you recommend that somebody else come work here?

To be honest, I never thought I would be working in government, but I have to say that I love my role.
I love the people I work with.
I have a wonderful team, and working with the department I have met great people, and I’m just so proud to serve the industry – the agriculture industry
in the state.
So I would definitely recommend this.

Commissioner Troxler:
Well, we certainly are proud of you and the work that you do.
And we hope that we’ll be able to hire a lot more people to work with you.

I will look forward to that.
Thank you for having me.
I have enjoyed my time in the department and I look forward to many more years.