INDIANAPOLIS — Members of an agricultural leadership program
traveled to The Netherlands, Belgium and Liberia for two weeks to learn about
international agriculture practices.
The AgrIInstitute Leadership Program is a two-year course
that helps develop leadership skills for agriculture professionals.
Members of the Class of 2015 immersed themselves in other
cultures, shared their expertise about agriculture and studied economic
development during their travels.
“The basics of our agenda included four days in Amsterdam,”
said Beth Archer, executive director of AgrIInstitute. “This time included
visits to the Floral Auction Market, a very large cross between a wholesale
market and a stock exchange sort of auction.”
While in Amsterdam, they also visited an enclosed dairy farm
that used robotic technology, the U.S. Embassy and greenhouse organic production
The group met with the Dutch Farmer’s Federation, visited a
mushroom production plant and explored the country during its time in
“We also spent two days in Brussels,” Archer said. “We had
meetings with the EU Commission and overnighted in Paris before flying off to
Monrovia, Liberia. We spent two days there meeting with church and small
business leaders to get a feel for development issues being faced.”
Talking with embassy officers helped members get a sense of
U.S. interests, development and money being invested overseas.
Every member of AgrIInstitute is an agricultural
professional. Job titles include Extension workers, attorneys and producers.
Each used their specific skills to teach agricultural
classes at the Liberian International Christian College for three days. Classes
ranging from financial management to production practices were held.
While some helped plant soybeans in temperatures higher than
90 degrees, others worked with school nurses to develop diet plans and with
teachers to improve teaching techniques.
The group ended its trip in Monrovia for a farewell dinner
and final meetings.
The destination for the next international trip will be
announced at the AgrIInstitute Leadership Program Benefit Auction on March 22 at
the Ritz Charles in Carmel.
The institute will host the next installation of the
“Thought Leaders” luncheon on March 25 in Indianapolis. The event will feature
speaker Jay Akridge, Purdue University dean of agriculture.
More information is available at www.agriinstitute.org.