How do you keep them down on the farm after theyve seen Paree? was a popular World War I dittya piece of social commentary about the potential for American farm boys to see their own lives as rather dull when reflected in the luminescence of the City of Lights.
Yet, 80-some years later, the question might be asked how can the great-grandsons and great-granddaughters of those doughboys be truly
Exchange Program Benefits Ag Students
|French student Jerome Julien studied with agronomist Tom Mueller this summer.
That year, the trip would be extended to several weeks for all the students. Later, the French trip would allow students to opt for a two-week tour or a four-week stint (sometimes longer, based on the students desire) that included working in some facet of French agriculture.
In the meantime, to make the trip a true educational exchange, Durand enlisted French agricultural students to come to Kentucky to study U.S. agriculture. The French students tour was for six to seven weeks, since many of them use their experience as the basis for their memoir paper, a term project roughly equivalent to an undergraduate thesis that is required of them for graduation.
From Paree (France)
to Paris (Kentucky)
In 2003, 15 students from France studied for the summer at the University of Kentucky. Projects ranged from agronomy to agricultural engineering to plant pathology to animal sciences.
Florent Voiry, one of those 15 students from ENESAD, worked on a special project under the tutelage of agricultural engineer Scott Shearer. Voirys project was to design, construct, and test a forage yield monitor for a GPS system. After two weeks on campus,
Florent Voiry, from the Burgundy region of France, studied with agricultural engineer Scott Shearer.
Voiry completed the design phase and began constructing the device that reads forage yields in front of the tractor. He worked on it at the Colleges farm shop.
Voiry, who grew up on a farm producing beef, small grains, and row crops near Nancy in the Burgundy region, will use his project as his memoir project, provided that the test of the device goes well.
I am excited to be able to work with Dr. Shearer and in such a well equipped shop. I love ag mechanization and plan to work on a masters degree after graduating from ENESAD, he said.
Fellow Frenchman Jerome Julien is using his summer at UK to study Global Positioning Systems and Geographic Information Systems with UK agronomist Tom Mueller.
Twenty-seven-year-old Julien, from a village of about 100 people in the south of France, had spent several years as a teachers assistant prior to enrolling at ENESAD. He plans to graduate with a specialization in computer engineering and agronomy.
This is a fine opportunity for me to study GIS/GPS. I will use what I learn here as part of my memoir paper when I am ready to graduate, he said.
From Versailles (Vur-Sales)
to Versailles (Ver-Sigh)
For Kentucky students, the two-week tour includes a whirlwind inspection of agricultural production sites in the Burgundy region as well as major cultural sites such as the Louvre (most of the students have a bon ami take pictures of themselves next to the Mona Lisa). The agricultural production sites include typical farms (an average farm size in France is about 110 acres), as well as farms that produce exotic (for U.S. students) products, such as wines, truffles, and free range, branded (Bresse) chickens. They also see sites carrying out intensive small grain production (high seeding rates per acre with high fertility and pesticide use compared to U.S. production).
We saw so much that I am still thinking about all that I saw, even though Ive been back from the French trip for three weeks, Shawn Burger, a junior in agricultural communications, said this summer. I am still amazed at how different cultures lead to such wide differences in agriculture. A native of Burgin, Burger plans a career in agricultural marketing when he graduates. As a result of the French trip, Burger is considering adding an international dimension to his career plans.
While Burger opted for the two-week tour, Renee Saunieran agricultural economics and French major from Lexington who graduated in May 2003stayed in France all summer in 2002, working on a research project about marketing Zinfandel wines to the French. (Zinfandels are known as California wines, although the grapes from which they are made are Croatian in origin. French consumers have little exposure to Zinfandel wines, partly because they are not routinely available.)
Saunier's project was to interview winery owners about their retailing of Zinfandel wines. Of the seven wineries she visited, she found that only two sold Zinfandelsand neither sold much of them.
The trip was a great experience that opened up many doors for me to pursue a career in wine marketing, she said.
As a result of her experiences in France, Saunier will be returning in October to teach English as a second language to French elementary schoolers and to take graduate courses in wine marketing at the University of Burgundy.
France: Where Gastronomy Drives the Agricultural Economy
France is well known for its appreciation ofmaybe even an obsession withfine food and wine. But what is not probably so well known is how this passion for food works its way back to the farm. And it does so, decidedly.
French consumers value having a diversity of products available to them. And whereas American consumers seek consistency and quality, the French appreciate the fact that there may be a difference across brands and maybe even within brands over time. It is expectedjust as there are better years for certain winesthat food products will differ from time to time.
In addition to the French trip, the College of Agriculture sponsors a three-week tour of Chinese agriculture for students in association with Shandong University in eastern China. A variety of internships also are available to students interested in international agriculture