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Visiting Farmers Weekly, the U.S. embassy and more!

Today our group started off the morning with breakfast at the hotel and a drive to Sutton. There, we visited Farmers Weekly, a magazine and online publication for agriculturists. We listened to a presentation by Karl Schneider, the editor. He shared a great deal of information with us about agriculture in the UK, as well as about the company in general. It was very interesting to hear about the popularity of poultry farming in the UK, as it is popular in the U.S., but not quite as big as an industry. Schneider’s thoughts about agriculture’s future in the UK were insightful as well. He

Our visit to Farmers Weekly was great!

mentioned many changes that the U.S. will also see, including a growing technology, changing consumer opinions, eating preferences, and increasing environmental concerns. We also learned the different ways Brexit can affect UK farmers. Schneider predicted anything from pressure on profitability to reduced market prices. Overall, the group asked questions about the UK and learned key differences from the U.S. In terms of learning about the publication, there were not many differences between U.S. and UK agricultural journalism companies. Farmers Weekly is the number one magazine in the UK for farmers, and the number one community website for online trading platforms. Their branding is strong and well known. So much so that it was especially surprising to hear that their readers prefer hard copies of the magazine over digital. Although the publication also has a strong drive to constantly improve their online platforms. They focus on actionable content that farmers can use and apply. In terms of their hands-on approach, they also host workshops and events, such as a soils day. It is great that the magazine focuses so diligently to help their farmer-readers succeed and grow their farms. This first stop allowed us all to have a better understanding of UK agriculture, and agricultural publications around the area.

Our group at the U.S. embassy.

Our next stop was at the U.S. Embassy, where we listened to a presentation by Steve Knight from the USDA. He shared information about his job, which includes reporting information about the UK to the U.S., as well as dealing with trade policy. It was interesting to hear about the role he and his coworkers play in trade, as well as commonly traded products between the U.S. and the UK. For example, Knight shared that a growing import into the U.K. from the U.S. is wood pellets. These pellets are burned instead of coal for energy. Knight went on to explain Brexit as a whole to our group, as well as personal predictions he saw for the future. Not only did he share insight about the USDA and it’s connection to the UK, but also about policy in general. It was interesting to hear his opinions and to learn more about how our two countries interact. The visit helped our group understand more about Knight’s role at the USDA and agricultural trade in general.

Meredith and I with a famous London phone booth.

The group had the rest of the evening free. Most of us headed back to the hotel to regroup and some of us went to Westminister Abbey. A few of us used this time to take some photos in the park and ate dinner at pub called the Old Swan. We also saw some other members of our group that ate there. The food was amazing!

The day wrapped up with a group reflection in the late evening and was led by Dr. Miller. It was great to get to know the other students from University of Tennessee and University of Arkansas better. We also enjoyed reflecting on all we had learned that day as well as what we hoped to learn more about!

Overall, today taught all of us a great deal about agriculture in the UK. Not only did we get to learn more about the agricultural journalism realm, but also agricultural policy. I can say without a doubt that everyone is more than excited to continue to see more differences and to see UK agriculture as a whole!

 

 

Buckeyes Abroad – Across The Pond

Hello From The United Kingdom! Us Buckeyes landed safely across the pond in the wee hours this fine Monday morning. While our day was full of persistent yawns and casual cat naps on the bus; we all did our best to soak up as much history and knowledge that came our way during our various tours.

After arriving at the airport, we were joined by fellow Ag Communicators from The University of Arkansas and The University of Tennessee. Over the next two weeks- Buckeyes, Razorbacks and Vols will be making their way through The United Kingdom in hopes to understand the agriculture industry more deeply on a global scale. While we have many upcoming agriculture related tours and events, today we played the part of a classic London tourists.

Our first stop was at the historic London Tower. The fortress was built in the 1070’s, its architecture is full of history and its walls whisper stories of the past. The Tower holds the infamous Crown Jewels that are guarded meticulously by former military members called, “Beef Eaters” ….(Don’t ask us how they got the name). These guards watch over the  Queen’s precious jewels and also protect the fortress.

“I found it very interesting that the Beef Eaters actually take residence in the fortress,” said Shae Leeper, a Junior studying agriculture communication.

Our next and final stop was none other than Kensington Palace. Home to many famous monarchs, this palace has withstood the test of time. Kensington is currently occupied by Prince William and his wife Kate, along with their three children. Inside the palace was an exhibit surrounding Queen Victoria’s life, as she is one of the most famous and influential English queens of all-time. The exhibits showed her childhood to her beloved jewels to her mourning wardrobe she wore after her Husband Arthur died. Kensington also paid tribute to Princess Diana, by displaying some of her famous ensembles and portraits. After combing through all the history in the palace, we went and explored the lively and luscious Kensington Gardens.

Everywhere you looked beautiful greenery was splashed across the landscape, along with colorful blooms. I stood for a moment in the famous garden and thought of all the historic people who may have enjoyed this heavenly oasis. I wondered if its beauty gave them a sense of joy as it did for me. The Gardens were my personal favorite part of the activities we took part in today.

While it is only the first day of many here in The United Kingdom, I am extremely eager to soak up as much of its culture as I possibly can in the days to come.

Check back tomorrow for another Buckeye giving their update concerning our trip!

-Emily Beal

Below are pictured captured by Emily showcasing our activities

Two Beef Eaters sharing a quick chat.

The gates to enter The Tower of London.

A guard on duty at The Tower of London.

Queen Victoria’s diamond encrusted crown, still worn by royals today for special occasions.

A famous Diana ensemble sketch and portrait.

Luscious, green hallways in the Kensington Garden.

A statue of Queen Victoria sits at the front of Kensington Palace.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Thanks for following the adventures of the 2019 UK study abroad group! As the Ohio State resident director (until Dr. Buck joins us later this week), I get to make the inaugural post!

We left Columbus this afternoon around 3 and just arrived for our layover in Philadelphia. We’ll head out of Philly at 6:40 PM and are scheduled to arrive at Heathrow around 6:45 AM local time (or a little before 2 AM in Ohio; the UK is about 5 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time). We’ll meet up with our friends from Arkansas and Tennessee at the airport to start our UK adventure.

No rest for the weary: We’ll start our sightseeing tour of London as soon as we make it through baggage claim and customs! I’m most excited for our visit to Kensington Palace, which just opened two new exhibits celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria. As both a history nerd and a lifelong Anglophile, I can’t wait to explore London with our students!

Be sure to check back daily for updates on our trip. Each day, a new student will blog about his or her experiences, so follow along as we continue our travels through England and Scotland.

 

 

Heading Across the Pond!

Please join us as students in ACEL’s UK Study Abroad share their experiences during our 2 week excursion. Come back every day to see our adventures.  -Dr. Buck