(contact: Stella Coakley, 541-737-5264)

The Global Experience Fund continues to provide support for various international opportunities for our students. Consistent with the College’s goal to provide additional international opportunities, the fund contributed to two recent group trips.

In September 2016, the College of Agricultural Sciences offered its most recent edition of its Exploring World Agriculture study abroad course series.  The theme of this two-week program to France was “commodities to cafes – understanding French food systems from farm gate to food plate.” During the first week of the program, the 14 participating students visited a range of agricultural and food production facilities near Lyon, including a small-scale organic farm and vineyard in the Beaujolais region, alpine dairy farms in the French Alps, the Beaufort cheese cooperative, and one of the most expansive aquaculture production systems in Europe.  Lyon is France’s third largest city and is considered the country’s “culinary capital,” so dining options were plentiful and diverse - a few students were happy even to find McDonald’s golden arches and sample the French version of the fast food chains global network. Week two was in Paris, where students visited Rungis, which is the world’s largest food and fresh produce wholesale distribution complex, as well as several site visits focusing on international trade and marketing.  These included a visit with the USDA FAS Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy, and visits to the international headquarters of the OECD and OIE (the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Organization for Animal Health, respectively). Shopping (or at least browsing) at high-end food retailing and specialty stores, and a scavenger hunt through the street markets and food boutiques of Paris added to the students’ experiences, while also leaving time for them to explore the “postcard” highlights of the city such as the Eiffel Tour, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre and Orsay Museums. Program leaders were James Sterns, Larry Lev, and Ann Shriver, all faculty members in the Department of Applied Economics. Student fees, combined with financial support from the Department of Applied Economics and from the CAS Global Experience Fund contributed to creating this wonderful experience for the students.  Plans for the next EWA course are already in the works - a faculty-led program to Costa Rica during the 2017 summer term!

Students in front of Notre Dame in Paris
Students in front of Notre Dame in Paris. Photo courtesy of Ann Shriver.

Students in front of the Beaufort Cheese Cooperative in the French Alps
Students in front of the Beaufort Cheese Cooperative in the French Alps. Photo courtesy of Ann Shriver.

In December, funds were made available to assist the students who went on the service learning trip to Puerto Rico under the leadership of Dr. Katie Gaebel, the CAS Experiential Learning Advisor. This trip captured the interest of many first-generation and underrepresented minority students so helping to defray expenses was especially important. We will share the outcomes from that trip in a latter issue of The Source.

As we reported earlier, we now have a Global Experience Endowment Fund with a five-year timeline to reach the $50,000 commitment that will then provide expendable funds in perpetuity to support student and faculty engagement in international opportunities. The lead gift for this endowment was Dr. Hiram Larew (MS 1977, PhD 1981) with additional support from E.R. Jackman Friends and Alumni and the Deans’ office. We encourage you to consider adding your contributions to this effort.

On-line gifts can be made here with a note added to specify the endowment.