Maria De Lourdes Orozco Ramirez
MPS Class of 2024, Global Development
- Grand challenge: Empowering immigrant and socially disadvantaged small-scale farmers through social capital and climate education
- Where she calls home: San Antonio Juanacaxtle, Mexico
- Connect: mo486 [at] cornell.edu | LinkedIn
Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, and raised in California, Maria Orozco comes to Cornell with experience in small-scale farmer education, bilingual information delivery, and specialty crop research. Her family's roots in agriculture influenced Maria to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of California, Davis. At UC Davis, Maria also minored in Chicana/o/x Studies with an emphasis on Community and Regional Development to better advocate for a just and equitable food system to improve the quality of life for BIPOC and underserved farmers.
Before joining Cornell’s MPS program in Global Development, Maria worked for the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) with the UC Small Farms Network on the Central Coast. As a Community Education Specialist and a Staff Research Associate, she assisted producers experiencing hardship due to drought and extreme weather events by providing technical assistance and facilitating the process for grants. Alongside farm advisors, Maria has assisted growers who are not covered by traditional commodity-based extension programs to research agave, subtropical fruits, and other specialty crops. Her Spanish language proficiency and research interests in specialty crops have allowed Maria to help break language barriers and close knowledge gaps. Thus, she is committed to continuing to empower farmers through outreach and education to address the ever-evolving needs of underserved and marginalized communities in our food systems.