The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Global Programs Department has been hosting high school and undergraduate students from Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Bolivia, and Paraguay through a partnership with the International Farmers Aid Association (IFAA) for over 40 years. Through the partnership, over 800 students have come to Iowa State University to learn about agriculture in Iowa, specifically swine, beef and crop production, as they attend lectures by various faculty and staff in the college. The visitors also have the opportunity to visit an array of facilities at Iowa State University that are closely related to their area of studies such as the BioCentury Research Farm, Center for Crops Utilization Research, Iowa State University Meats Laboratory and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Global Programs Department hosted 34 students from Brazil, Japan and South Korea for a visit from December 2-7, 2019. During their visit, the visitors listened to presentations from Shelley Taylor, Global Programs; Thelma Harding, Graduate College; Dr. Kendall Lamkey and Dr. Bradley Miller, Department of Agronomy; Dr. Katy Lippolis, Beth Reynolds, and Mr. Kenneth Stalder, Department of Animal Science. The group also had the opportunity to tour the ISU Meat Lab, ISU College of Veterinary Medicine and ISU BioCentury Research Farm. The Global Programs Department also arranged a visit to Thoma Beeflot and a feedmill in Jesup, Iowa.
International Farmers Aid Association (IFAA) is a private non-profit organization with headquarters in Northern California, USA, who provides exchange programs for young farmers from around the world. The program includes leadership training and the enhancement of practical farming abilities and skills, hands-on experiences with American farm families, and education programs provided by U.S. universities. The American host farmers are willing to give their time and knowledge to teach these young men and women to improve their knowledge into American Agriculture, American culture, costumes, and language, and foremost give them a practical experience on how to successfully run an agriculture business in the US. According to their website, the IFAA began in 1952, allowing more than 7,500 individuals from Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Bolivia, and Paraguay to learn about agriculture in the United States. Individuals are able to apply for the program and if accepted they spend anywhere from one to twelve months with a host family in the United States learning about agriculture through hands on learning on the host family’s farm.