May 21

May 21, 2017Sunday Today is our last day in China.Wow, the two weeks went fast and we had a great time!We really got to see and experience a lot in a short amount of time, yet we know it only scratched the surface.I've heard several students comment on the value of this experience.When you consider the access to agricultural facilities in addition to the cultural and historical tourism opportunities, plus the nice hotels, awesome meals, and professional local tour guides in each city-- this is truly a great way to travel!I'd like to thank all of the family, friends, and businesses who helped support these 19 students by encouraging them to embrace this international opportunity, or by financially supporting their adventure.I believe this short, two week experience will be the starting line for future travel for several students.Their eyes are open and their minds are curious.

Today we visited the Pearl Market shopping area before heading to the airport.The Pearl Market is like a…

May 20

Happy Chinese Valentine's Day/Anna's Birthday!Today we started off at Tiananmen Square, learning the history of the location and its importance to the city. It is known as the Heaven and Peace gate.The square is the largest in the world, at 110 acres. Saturday is a busy day, with about 80,000 people visiting the square.We had to stick together like "sticky rice."
From the square, we headed to another park, The Alter of the Land and the Grain.In the past, emperors would visit this park to pray for the land and grain in the country.Our leader, Michelle, went to kindergarten here.There were many old trees, dating back 130 years.It was beautiful!
Next we walked to the Forbidden City.  Twenty-four emperors from both the Ming and Ching dynasty lived in this location.Today, 3-4000 people populate the city.The Forbidden City has over 3,000 treasures.There are 8740 rooms in the city, and only 2/5 are open to the public.Some of these buildings were solely for men, while others…

May 19

Hello friends and family back home! This morning we woke up early to endure a 2.5 hour bus ride to Tian Jin where we visited John Deere. We were greeted by Justin who has been working for John Deere for 6 years as the manager of manufacturing. Justin told us that they were one of 6 manufacturing plants in the world; it is very similar to the John Deere Plant in Waterloo, Iowa.He gave us a brief introduction of his job title and then he explained some factual information about the company. The factory’s full efficiency can produce 100 engines per day, ranging from 50-600 horse power. Currently due to demand they are only producing 50 per day. We were then given a short tour around the engine factory, where we were able to look at some finished engines up close, they were very shiny and green. We ended at the John Deere conference room and ate a bag lunch.
Next we visited Artex Barn Solutions, a dairy-focused company where they manufactured livestock headlocks and also livestock large sc…

May 18

Ni Hao (Hello ) From China!
As our endeavor continues we are broadening our horizons by learning all about China's agriculture as well as learning parts of a new language. Today our day started by listing to Paul Burke, Regional US Soybean Export Council Director for the area. China plays an important role in the exports of U.S soybeans. Fun Facts: China imports 63% of the world’s soybeans, China buys 30% of all U.S soybeans (is your mind blown yet?!).
While at DuPont Pioneer headquarters of China, Adrian Gomez who is the Marketing and Sales Director there discussed the footprint Pioneer has in China. They have built relationships with local farm communities to build a brand in China. They have 11 research stations, 1 global tech center and 3 production centers. This is DuPont Pioneer's 20th anniversary being in China to continue to build brand recognition they are implementing a new program called Village Technical Service Station (VTS). This program allows farmers to learn, …

May 17

Today was very very good or as our tour guide, Mihelle would say, "Ding Ding How." Our day started off with a visit to the hospital. No need to worry though, no one was injured. We toured Beijing’s world renowned Femur-HeadHospital. This hospital specializes in treatments surrounding non-surgical avascular necrosis, a disease that most commonly affects the joints, those surrounding the hip, specifically the femoral head. It was founded by Haung Kequin who welcomed us when we arrived. After being a surgeon for several years, Haung Kequin founded the Femur- Head Hospital to treat avascular necrosis through natural remedies over 20 years ago. He has invented a total of 42 external fixator’s for 8 types of bone fractures as well as winning 6 provincial scientific and technical awards, 14 national patents and invention gold medals from over eight different countries. We were welcomed by staff and toured different areas in the hospital. We saw the pharmacy which was filled with tr…

May 16 photos

Maddie, Madelyn, Mary at Great Wall Group at hospital Exercising outside Femur Head Hospital 

May 16

We rounded up our last morning in Xi’ An with a visit to the wet market. This market was a lot different than the market we visited in Guangzhou and fairly newer. We were able to see different cuts of meat from chicken, pork, lamb, beef and fish. As we entered the two story wet market, we saw the meat hooks to carry the whole carcasses into the market. As we walked through the market we saw different meat being cut and processed from the different carcasses. This market was very different compared to those in the US, as the safety precautions and measures simply didn't exist. We were also able to see cuts of the animal that are not typically eaten in the United States for example, pig hooves, ears and tail, and cow kidney and heart. Our tour guide Maggie bought some crawdads that we watched a lady hand break apart to be cooked later. Leaving the wet market we were able to see local black chicken. Most of the chicken at the wet market is frozen, due to the Bird Influenza and wantin…