In May and June, I traveled to England and Scotland on the Agricultural and Environmental Communication education abroad. This trip was only two weeks, but had enough experiences to last a life-time.
The part I enjoyed most about the trip was its focus on my major, agricultural communication. Our group was able to learn some key differences and similarities between the U.S. and the U.K. both in agricultural communication and agriculture in general. By learning more about my future profession in another country, I was able to have an even better understanding of global agriculture going into my senior year. I gained this awareness especially through our various industry visits.
While we were in England we visited many places and agricultural businesses, but my favorite was Farmers Weekly. Not only did the company buy us all Starbucks coffee, but also taught us a lot about what their organization does. Karl Schneider, the editor, focused the discussion mostly on where agriculture is in the U.K. now and how that affects their content. Being one of our first industry visits, it was a nice introduction to learning more about U.K. agriculture. Farmers Weekly is the number one magazine for farmers in the U.K., so the organization had a great deal of interesting insights on how to engage audiences.
Our time at the Scottish Farmer was also impactful. Although the publication was smaller than Farmers Weekly, it was interesting to have a discussion with them about their magazine. There we talked a great deal about the decline in print and strategies to combat this issue. Another interesting part of the visit was hearing about the history and how far the organization has come in the past 126 years. We were even able to see old copies of the magazine, understanding what the magazine used to contain versus what it is currently.
This two-week adventure included tours and visits that were more focused on culture and history as well. Some of my favorite visits include Kensington Palace, the London Eye, the Roman Baths and Stonehenge. I loved the opportunity to learn so much about agriculture, while simultaneously visiting intriguing places such as these. My absolute favorite activity was walking around Edinburgh, Scotland. The historic city has a lot to offer, from shops to restaurants to its overall atmosphere. The group was also able to visit Edinburgh castle, which was also rich in history.
The Agricultural Communication and Education trip allowed me to learn more about culture and agriculture in the U.K. I had previously studied abroad in Brazil my sophomore year, but this trip was a different experience that allowed me to learn more about my major from an international perspective. From the trip, I now have a better understanding of agricultural communication in these countries and how it may, in turn, affect the U.S. I am grateful for the opportunity, and I recommend all students, ACEL or not, to apply in the future!