Our day began by visiting with students at the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University. Conversing with the students gave us a true insight to what it is like to be a college age student studying agriculture in China. We learned that only 20% of students in China have the opportunity to attend a university in China. Northwest A &F University offers over 100 majors with the largest being agronomy. The students led us on a tour of some of their beautiful greenhouses, and we enjoyed a lunch featuring local cuisine. McKehna of the Nebraska Association stated, “I was greatly surprised by the relationships the students want to build with us as Americans not just on a business level but a personal level too.”
After our visit to the university we journeyed to a dairy cooperative. On our journey we observed the countryside of China the most since our arrival. We discussed as a group the living conditions in rural China, and why we should be thankful for what we have. We observed that they do not have cemeteries, but bury the deceased in mounds in the middle of their fields. There is not an efficient trash removal procedure, so garbage can be seen across the countryside. Families live in run-down buildings.
At the dairy, the fundamental parts of the dairy seemed very similar to a dairy farm in the U.S. We observed similar facilities, pens, and milking procedures; however noticeable differences the quality of animals and facilities were found. Trip participants mentioned some health problems in the cattle, and some of the run-down buildings that were being used. In all this crumbling landscape, we did notice something very special: the people. The people here appeared genuinely happy; especially the three farmer’s kids that we shared smiles, pictures, and ‘fist bump’s’ with.
Overall, the feeling of this day could be described as very eye-opening. We got to experience two worlds: a university student’s, and a dairy farmer’s. Two very different places, but part of one cultural experience.
Group Leader: Katy Mumaw
Gillian- New Jersey
Hannah- North Carolina
John- North Carolina