Monday, December 27, 2010

The New Year

First of all, I must apologize for disappearing for about a month and a half. The end of November and all of December have been out of control in terms of being busy with the end of the academic semester, a larger than normal demand for speaking engagements, the holiday season, and preparing for the annual voyage to South America.

That being said, we have a lot to catch up on, namely, the trip to Argentina that casts off next week. A little bit of background on this trip: the trip is a study-tour of South American agriculture and is offered to undergraduate and graduate students at SDSU. The main objectives are to engage our South American counterparts in discussions about the development or more correctly, the re-development of agriculture in the lower half of the continent.

A brief history: around the late-1800's and early 1900's, lower South America, mostly Argentina had one of the most robust agricultural economies in the world which, summarily collapsed following WWII. It has only been since the middle 1980's that these countries have seen a resurgence in agricultural development. Flip forward to 2007 and following the collapse of the AR Peso in 2002, Argentina's ag economy is beginning to take off again and SDSU decides that a study tour of the region should be organized.

So, this 5th group of students that are travelling to Argentina next week with me will get exposure to the advantages and disadvantages of globalized agriculture. Now I am sure you are thinking, why not Brazil? Well, we have gone to Brazil, Chile, Uruaguay, and Paraguay in the past but for logistical reasons, I have focused more on Argentina in the past couple of years. Furthermore, I try to mix it up a bit just to add some variety to the trip. Brazil is an incredible place to visit, but getting 20 visas at the 11th hour has not done much for the color or the amount of hair I have on my head. But Brazil will certainly be on the table for the 2012 trip.

In any event, we will be in Argentina and Uruguay for the next couple of weeks and my hope is to keep you all updated on our progress and let you know a little bit about what we have been touring. Hopefully this will dovetail into the visit I got from the CREA group in August. And yes, we will be visiting a lot of the folks that came to South Dakota.

Thank you and Have a Great Day!!

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