As instructor Chuck Lariviere looked at the list of students in his global seminar in agriculture and natural resources class and their majors, he began to adapt the planned spring break trip. Ten students with interests spanning all aspects of agriculture had an opportunity to learn more about culture, agriculture, business, and the natural beauty that is Brazil.
One of the highlights of the trip was a tour of SLC Agricola’s Paiaguas Farm, one of seventeen farm units of a Brazilian agricultural producer, founded in 1977 by the SLC Group, focused mainly on cotton, soybean and corn. The 915,000 acre corporate operation is owned by shareholders and the students were impressed by both its organization and its cleanliness. “If you walked into a show farm, it would look like SLC Agricola,” says Junior Lee Borgerding, a double major in agriculture business and agricultural systems management from Brooten, Minn.
Senior Katie Myhre, an animal science major from Whapeton, N.D., enjoyed a special opportunity to meet up with her former roommate while on the trip. “It was fun to reconnect with her and visit her in her home country,” Myhre says.
What Lariviere likes best about the time in Brazil is showing students the many aspects of agriculture and offering them the chance to compare similarities and differences between the two countries. “We learned about issues related to the jungle and sustainability, urban issues, and topics related to ag business, farming, agricultural mechanics and facilities, and animal science,” he says. “I hope they brought back an experience that taught them firsthand about things they had little knowledge of or they didn’t know before, and that they can relate to their own previous experiences.”
For Lacey Greniger, a sophomore majoring in animal science from Nashwauk, Minn., the trip has sparked an interest in another learning abroad possibility in the future. “In the twelve days we were gone, I learned about culture and about the people, which I really enjoyed,” she says. The grocery store was one place she saw a difference. “The Brazilian stores sell their ‘junk food’ in much smaller containers than you find in the U.S. and there were things we are used to that they do not have like peanut butter, chocolate chips, and pancakes and maple syrup.”
Tareyn Stomberg, a junior from Menahga, Minn., double majoring in animal science and agricultural business, says that the trip taught her greater respect. “They have a highly competitive educational system, and in order to go to college, they must be in the top of their class,” she explains. “I have an increased amount of respect for and a better understanding of the Brazilian students here, and I am also enjoying having things in common with them after visiting their country.”
Along with Stomberg, Greniger, Borgerding, and Myhre, students on the trip included Kevin Bunde, a fall 2014 graduate in agricultural systems management from Parkers Prairie, Minn.; Brady Gillespie, a senior majoring in agricultural systems management from Graceville, Minn.; Sam Jacobson, a junior majoring in agricultural systems management from New York Mills, Minn.; Sheila Johnson, a senior majoring in agronomy from Viking, Minn.; Luke Lundeby, a senior majoring in agricultural systems management from Osnabrock, N.D.; and Amy Stadtherr, a junior majoring in agricultural business from New Ulm, Minn.
The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 31 bachelor’s degree programs, 22 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.
These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. “Small Campus. Big Degree.” To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
In the photos, left to right:
Top photo at Iguazu Falls Bird Park: Lee Borgerding, Chuck Lariviere, Kevin Bunde, Amy Stadtherr, Luke Lundby, Sam Jacobson, Tareyn Stomberg, Brady Gillespie, Sheila Johnson, Katie Myhre, Lacy Greniger, and Antonio Nogueira, who served as gide.
Middle photo – Sugarloaf Mountain overlooking Copacabana Beach: Front Row Katie Myhre, Tareyn Stomberg, Lacy Greniger, Middle Row – LtoR Antonio Nogueira, Sheila Johnson, Amy Stadtherr, Sam Jacobson, Back row – LtoR Luke Lundby, Kevin Bunde, Brady Gillespie, Chuck Lariviere, and Lee Borgerding.
Bottom photo is of students during the tour of SLC Agricola’s Paiaguas Farm.
Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, University Relations, 218-281-8432 (firstname.lastname@example.org)