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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • National FFA award winners tour Costa Rica, gain perspective of global agriculture

  • As the agricultural community becomes increasingly global, it is crucial that young people considering careers in the industry understand the opportunities and challenges of international trade. A group of 46 national FFA award winners, six FFA advisors and two national FFA staff toured agricultural sites in Costa Ric...
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  • As the agricultural community becomes increasingly global, it is crucial that young people considering careers in the industry understand the opportunities and challenges of international trade. A group of 46 national FFA award winners, six FFA advisors and two national FFA staff toured agricultural sites in Costa Rica and compared the industry in Central America and the United States. Following an orientation session in Miami on June 12, the group departed for a nine-day tour.
    “The global marketplace can be a difficult concept for students to grasp. Visiting agribusinesses and talking to industry experts in Costa Rica will help students see the similarities to U.S. agriculture and better understand how what happens in Central America can have implications back home,” said Dwight Armstrong, CEO of the National FFA Organization. “Costa Rica is an ideal agricultural tour site because it includes some of the most diverse agriculture and geography in the world, and is small enough that the group will be able to see most of the country during the trip.”
    Seminar participants were selected from national agricultural proficiency award finalists and American Star Farmer and Star in Agribusiness finalists named last year at the 2011 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. The seminar, in addition to cash awards and plaques, is made possible by business and industry contributions to the National FFA Foundation.
    During the seminar, students had an opportunity to experience global agriculture and Costa Rica’s culture. The international seminar is an education study seminar designed to introduce the award participants to agriculture as it is practiced in other countries. Participants visited farms and agribusinesses. Participants hiked in the rainforest; observed a working pineapple plantation; visited a farming cooperative and EARTH university; learned about products specific to Costa Rica, such as sugar cane, bananas and coffee; and more.
     

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