Seventeen agriculture students from Denmark came to the University of Minnesota Friday, April 25 as part of a study tour from Experience International.
The University of Minnesota Agricultural Education program had the opportunity to hear a brief presentation about agriculture and school in Denmark. While attending their Danish school, these students focus on production agriculture in three areas: livestock, plants/crops, and agriculture machinery. All of the students are farmers and plan to continue farming after they graduate college. The structure of the school requires students to attend school for five months, then enter into the workforce for 15 months to gain work experience, and then go back to school for 5 months. The students follow this structure until they graduate. In Denmark, students receive free college education.
Assistant Professor Amy Smith and Recruiter Cassie Burton gave a presentation about Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota. Current Agricultural Education students joined in the discussion sharing their experiences and knowledge. The Danish students were excited and eager to learn about agriculture in Minnesota and the Agricultural Education program at the University of Minnesota; they were specifically interested in learning more about the National FFA Organization and its connection to agriculture.
After the presentation, U of M Agricultural Education students Ellie Bauer and Sarah Lee took the Danish students on a tour of the St. Paul Campus. The students were curious to see the greenhouses because horticulture studies are not on their campus in Denmark. They also were able to see the sheep and cattle in the barns and had questions about tail docking while they were there.
“I personally really enjoyed having conversations with the students individually. It was really neat to talk to them about their agricultural practices and see how we do things similarly and what things are a little different.” Sarah Lee said.“I think everyone, if given the opportunity, should have a conversation with other people from all over the world. It allows for minds to be opened and new perspectives to be seen.”
Visiting the University of Minnesota was just one of the many things these students were able to see as part of the nine day trip to the United States. Other destinations included farms and ranches, large agricultural operations, cooperatives and more from Minnesota to Denver, Colorado.
Experience International is an organization based in Washington that provides international training, internships, exchange programs and study tours in the area of agriculture, forestry and natural resource management for U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens.