As we reflect on our experiences in Southeast Asia, we are grateful for our experiences in new cultures, agricultural businesses, and the many people who made I-CAL 2012 possible. Our team comprised of twelve students from across America had no idea how impactful this experience would be before departing two weeks ago. Now we aim to use our experience and knowledge gained from the program in our summer jobs, internships, and future careers in agriculture. The overarching theme we realized during our travels through Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore is the importance of networking and relationship building. In our expanding market, long term relationships are becoming increasingly important and vital to the success of global agriculture.
Without the support of the U.S. Grains Council, the Grains Foundation, and community sponsors, the I-CAL program would not be possible. Every year their continuous support makes the program of a lifetime a reality for collegiate students who come back to America with a new appreciation and outlook on American culture and agriculture. On behalf of the I-CAL team, we thank Adel, Shellen, Chien, and Anne, all of U.S. Grains Council, for escorting and planning our visits in Southeast Asia. A special thanks to Mr. Tom Dorr, also of the U.S. Grains Council and Grains Foundation, for ensuring this program was possible. We are very excited to return to the states and share our experiences.