Exploring Brazil

This winter break I went on a two-week study abroad trip to southern Brazil. Nine agronomy students and I traveled to two states, Rio Grande do Sol and Sao Paulo. I enjoyed how relaxed everyone was in Brazil. No one was in a rush and everyone was so nice. It was refreshing to go on a trip that wasn’t solely tourist oriented because I learned a lot but still felt like I was on vacation. The best parts of the trip included seeing all of the crops I had never seen before like eucalyptus, sugar cane, oranges, and coffee. It was really eye-opening to see how production and management are so different than in the United States. I would say that this trip changed my perspective on Kansas agriculture because of how productive and efficient Brazil’s crops can be under such different climates than what Kansas farmers are used to. I was also surprised that Brazilian farmers can harvest two crops in one growing season. If anything, this trip made me think that farmers in Kansas should be more open to change and implementing new methods such as adoption of a no-till system and use of unique cover crops. This is only because the Brazilians have been so successful in their systems. Seeing the success and the yields that Brazilian soybean and corn farmers are able to achieve really expanded my knowledge on the power of no-till. The most challenging part of this trip was overcoming my shyness to interact with the Portuguese language and finding food at some types of restaurants. The positives greatly outweigh any small challenges I encountered. I highly recommend this study abroad trip!

In Sisterhood,

Tessa Zee

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