Kangaroos, emus, and ‘wine science’: WIU Ag students hit Australia

In a recent article from the McDonough County Voice, professor of horticulture Mari Loehrlein poses an interesting question:

“What do you get when you combine 24 college students, a boomerang, a world-famous opera house, and a major agricultural production region? Well, if you stir gently, bake in the hot Australian sun, season with fresh local flavors of your choice (e.g. rugby, fruit bats, and beaches right next to an urban center), I think you’ll get the idea.”

As Professor Loehrlein describes, 24 students from the Western’s School of Agriculture spent 10 days over spring break learning about Australian culture and agriculture, with tours including the Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Culture Center (see photo, below), a citrus orchard, and the wine science program at Charles Sturt University, among other highlights.

(more, below the photo)

image of WIU students visiting Muru Mittigar aboriginal center

Senior agriculture majors Mellisa Herwig (left) and Joe Dickinson (right) with tour guide at the at the Muru Mittigar aboriginal center

To learn more about the trip, read Professor Loehrlein’s highlights, or check out the entire page of trip photos from Professor Jon Carlson’s page!

Advertisements

Taking ag to a whole new horizon

For WIU alumnus John Carroll, farming is a family tradition, but now his family’s tradition is to do something …non-traditional.

Carroll received his bachelor’s (business-agriculture ’02) and master’s (MBA’03) from WIU, where he met his wife, Kelly (Kaufman) Carroll ’03 (accountancy).

And while business and agriculture students may already be prepped for changing markets, Carroll is applying his educational background and family history to a whole new level: farming in Brazil.

As he explained in a recent story from the Quincy (IL) Herald-Whig, (Carroll is a native of the west central Illinois region), Carroll is now CEO of the family farming operation, which includes managing about 20,000 acres of cotton, as well as 9,000 acres of soybeans, in South America.John Carroll in Brazil

“I’d never seen a cotton plant until I went to Brazil,” Carroll said.
Carroll Farms Brazil now owns 8,000 acres and share-crops the rest with U.S. landowners in the state of Bahia, about five hours northeast of Brasilia, the country’s capitol.

Why Brazil?

And how did he get there?

To find out how a Midwestern farm boy become a CEO in another country, read the full story here.

(Check out Western’s business and agriculture programs on our web site at wiu.edu).

Farmer tweets from the field

When it comes to farmers and tools that start with “t,” the first thing that might come to mind?  Tractor.

WIU graduate Colby Hunt

WIU graduate Colby Hunt

But for Colby Hunt ’03, who received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from WIU, there’s a new tool in town:

Twitter.

Hunt, who lives and farms near his alma mater and now serves as vice president of the McDonough County Farm Bureau, was featured recently in the McDonough County Voice for his innovative use of Twitter.

Hunt believes in using Twitter to help farmers educate the public about agriculture’s impacts on their lives. It’s something Hunt believes fewer people are aware of than in the past.

More and more people have never been on a farm or been connected at all so we’re just trying to find ways to find those people and keep them informed with what’s going on,” said Hunt.

Check out the full story in the McDonough County Voice.