The Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science is taking eight students to Zambia this summer in an effort to learn about foreign agriculture.
Dr. Ed Brokaw, chairman of the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences said the trip is specifically for environmental majors in the International Applications in Agriculture and Environmental Science class.
“The mission of this department is to help students learn how to serve through conservation and other aspects of agriculture not only here in the states but also in developing countries,” Brokaw said.
Dr. Michael Nicodemus, associate professor of agriculture and environmental science, will lead the trip.
“Students will learn how people do agriculture in developing countries,” Nicodemus said.
The way the Zambian people do agriculture is different than U.S. agriculture, Nicodemus said. Farmers there use a slash-and-burn method, which is hazardous to the soil.
“Students will create a small-scale plot that shows how we do agriculture in the states and teach our method of farming to the Zambian people,” said Nicodemus.
While there, students will also visit local churches and local events.
“The purpose of the trip is to expose our students to a new lifestyle and learn more about the Zambian way of life,” said Nicodemus.
This is not the first trip the department has taken to Zambia. The department took three students last year. Nicodemus said the trip last year changed the way he viewed poverty.
“The people we worked with make one percent of what I earn a year and yet they survive,” said Nicodemus.
Nicodemus said the trip gives students a chance to view a world much different than their own and compare it to their own lives.
“The Zambia trip is a great opportunity to change students’ perspective on how they view poverty, the world and, most importantly, themselves,” said Nicodemus.
Dayna Roe, sophomore environmental science major from Fort Worth, went to Zambia with the department last year. She said the comparisons between U.S. and Zambian agriculture made a major impact on her.
“I learned a lot about sustainable farming methods in Zambia and the variety of farming techniques the people have,” she said.