Agriculture Study Takes U of M Crookston Students to Brazil over Spring Break 2013

For thirteen students from the University of Minnesota Crookston, spring break meant ten 
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days in Brazil and weeks in preparation for a powerful learning abroad experience. The trip, which took place from March 16-24, 2013, took students to sugar cane farms, dairy operations, huge cities, beautiful waterfalls, a tour of Itapu Dam, and much more. 

Chuck Lariviere, instructor in agricultural business, led the students on trip showing them the rich agricultural areas and giving them an opportunity to compare the agriculture they are familiar with to the work going on in Brazil. It was all a part of a global studies class that led to the study abroad in Brazil.   

"Students have a real opportunity for growth when they choose to study abroad," said Lariviere. "Learning to approach questions from more than one perspective and with a more global approach is a powerful tool in creating a deeper understanding of yourself and others. The trip to Brazil brought learning in my class to a whole new level."

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Unique aspects of the trip included visits to some  large farm operations to see the cultivation of such crops as corn, soybeans, and sugarcane; reaserch facilities to witness work being conducted on citrus, rubber, mango, coffee, and jatropha, along with other crops; visits to some of Brazil's dairy operations; and a chance to see the increased logistical challenges caused by lack of infrastructure and transportation. The students also had the chance to stand in two different countries while visiting the Itapu Dam  which spans the border between Paraguay, and Brazil. They also witnessed the incredible power and beauty of the water falls at Iguassu Falls National Park.

Sightseeing opportunities took them to the large cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Lonrinda. It also included a visit to Christ the Redeemer, the famous statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, considered to be the largest art deco statue in the world. The beauty of Brazil intrigued them and it is an experience they will long remember, but the class agreed they came home with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for home. 

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Students traveling to Brazil over spring break included Ashley Hoffman, a senior double majoring in agricultural business and agronomy from Shevlin, Minn.; Matthew Green, a senior triple majoring in agricultural business, agronomy, and agricultural systems management from Greenbush, Minn.; Alex Prudhomme, a junior majoring in agronomy from Crookston, Minn.; Alex DeBoer, a junior majoring in agricultural systems management from Crookston, Minn.; Travis Duresky, a junior majoring in agricultural systems management from Waskish, Minn.; Johnathan Sorenson, a sophomore majoring in agricultural systems management from Fisher, Minn.; Gregory Sparby, a senior majoring in agricultural systems management from Grygla, Minn.; Brian Oachs, a junior double majoring in agronomy and agricultural systems management from Herman, Minn.; Max Johnson, a sophomore majoring in  agricultural systems management from Langdon, N.D.; Bryce Gillie, a senior majoring in agronomy from Hallock, Minn.; Kayla Erickson, a senior double majoring in 
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agricultural education and agricultural business from Scandia, Minn.; Amanda Crook, a senior double majoring in agricultural business and agronomy from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada; and Jeremy Love, a junior majoring in agricultural systems management from Fisher, Minn. 

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--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 25 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 photo at top, right (left to right): Chuck Lariviere, Alex DeBoer, Brian Oachs, Johnathan Sorenson, Alex Prudhomme, Matt Green, ryce Gillie, Ashley Hoffman, Greg Sparby, Kayla Erickson, Travis Duresky, Amanda Crook, Max Johnson,and Jeremy Love.

Middle, left: Chuck Lariviere, Alex DeBoer, Travis Duresky, Kayla Erickson, Matt Green, Bryce Gillie, Johnathan Sorenson, Alex Prudhomme, Ashley, Hoffman, Brian Oachs, Gregory Sparby, Amanda Crook, Jeremy Love, Max Johnson.

Contact: Chuck Lariviere, business instructor, 218-281-8175 (clarivie@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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