Stefani Evers has been passionate about American food practices all her life. She grew up on a dairy farm in Banks, Oregon and represents the American Guernsey Association at major national events and dairy shows as the 2016 National Guernsey Queen. Recently however, she has taken her love of agriculture overseas.
Working for OSU professor Ann Shriver, Stefani learned of an opportunity to go on an educational tour of the agricultural structure of France, from production to consumption. After committing to the program, Stefani decided to use the opportunity to explore sustainable practices in France and compare them with the United States.
Stefani went to the French Alps to study the production aspect of agricultural sustainability. She found that goat and dairy farms in the Alps place a huge emphasis on grazing time, and their animals are outside in the mountains six months every year. There is another major emphasis on local production, as all feeds from the barn were 75-80% local and vineyards grew their own wheat to make bread to sell with their wine.
As for the consumption aspect, Stefani went to Paris and visited the largest wholesale food market in the world: the Rungis. At the Rungis, restaurants bought produce, meat, and dairy products from farmers directly where it was used within days of purchase. Throughout Paris, shops along street corners proudly advertised their local ingredients, ethical animal products, and overall environmentally sound business practices.
Stefani is now back in Oregon writing about her experiences for her practicum and finishing her degrees. She intends to pursue a career in sustainable agriculture and now has some ideas to take with her from the system she explored in France.