Members of AgrIInstitute Class of 2015 teach agricultural classes in Liberia. The AgrIInstitute Leadership Program is a two-year leadership development course that includes classes, a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., and a two-week study abroad.
Members of AgrIInstitute Class of 2015 teach agricultural classes in Liberia. The AgrIInstitute Leadership Program is a two-year leadership development course that includes classes, a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., and a two-week study abroad.
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 facilities.

The group met with the Dutch Farmer’s Federation, visited a mushroom production plant and explored the country during its time in Europe.

“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.