For one week in January 2013, nine Salukis, including 7 undergraduates ranging from freshmen to seniors, one graduate student/teaching assistant and Dr. Karen Jones from the College of Agricultural Sciences journeyed to Puerto Rico to explore and learn about the island’s agricultural industry.
Students traversed a good portion of the island, visiting El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the USDA’s Forest Service, the Bacardi Rum Distillery near San Juan, Café Oro – a coffee processing plant, the Illinois Crop Improvement Association near Ponce, Bosque Estatal de Guanica (Guanica State Forest), a dry tropical forest, Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, and the USDA Tropical Agriculture Research Service (ARS) Station, near the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. The trip ended at a local charter agricultural school near San German, Escuela de Laura Mercado, where our Salukis taught students in grades 7 through 12 about Illinois cattle production, the agricultural exposition fair system, and more.
[Kenneth Barbosa welcomes SIU Carbondale faculty member, Dr. Karen Jones, and students to his agroecology classroom. From L-R, Thomas Marten (AGSY '12 & ABE), Dr. Karen Jones (ANS), Kenneth Barbosa (High School Ag Teacher/FFA Advisor), Claire Mueller (FOR), Heather Kiner (ABE), Morgan Schulte (FOR), Katie Gehrt (AGSY), Ella Herges (ABE), Jalyn Ridgely (ABE) and Daniel Suess (ABE & POLS).]
As a part of their new-found understanding of Puerto Rico's agriculture, the students learned about the local culture and cuisine and even made time to sightsee in Old San Juan and log some beach time near Luquillo.
Explore what our traveling Salukis had to say about their Puerto Rico experience and see more photos from their trip on SalukiAggie, the blog of the College of Agricultural Sciences.