A team of research and Extension students and staff from the Department of Plant Sciences participated in a study tour in Vietnam during the March spring break.
Participants included doctoral students Grant Mehring, Shana Forster, Aaron Hoppe and Lesley Lubenow; master’s degree students Ben Cigelske and Calli Feland; and research specialist Chad Deplazes. Faculty members Joel Ransom and Hans Kandel led the tour.
The group visited the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. Field visits to a Climate Smart Village, a project from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, at Yen Binh District included a soil erosion research site, integrated fish farm, agroforestry and home garden food production integrated with livestock.
The tour included the World Agroforestry Centre project in the Van Chan District and discussions took place at the Hanoi headquarters. The last main visit was to the Field Crops Research Institute, which included a focus on the work of the International Rice Research Institute. In addition, a number of local markets and water resource management sites were observed.
The participants gained new insight into the importance of agriculture research in the lives of small-scale farmers, how innovative Extension and development approaches can bring new technology to farmers in very different circumstances than those encountered in North Dakota and an increased understanding of how climate change is impacting agriculture in the tropics and subtropics.
Vietnam was selected for the 2016 program because of the significant role that agriculture plays in the country’s economy.
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