Central American visitors tour Wisconsin organic and sustainable ag

CALS just finished hosting 21 guests from five Central American countries for its 2011 Agricultura Organica Y Sostenible :Produccion Y Mercadeo (Organic and sustainable agriculture: production and marketing) workshop. The group included agriculture students, farmers, extension agents and community development specialists from CARE. They came from from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

The field-based workshop was held from Aug. 18-27th in and about southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, reports horticulture professor Jim Nienhuis.

“We visited organic and sustainable research plots at the Arlington and West Madison and Eagle Heights Ag. Research stations in addition to hands-on visits to Vermont Valley Community Farm and TiPi produce, he says. The participants also visited the Madison Farmers Market, The Farley Center, Cedar Grove Cheese, Wollersheim Winery, New Glarus Brewery, the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Millenium Park in Chicago.  Our Central American guests were treated to several Midwestern BBQs with ribs, chicken, and of course sweet corn prepared by Michell Sass, a research specialist in Nienhuis’ lab. A special treat was a visit to the Washburn Observatory for star-gazing.

The group was hosted by Nienhuis’ lab with the participation of Alberto Vargas of LACIS and Victor Cabrera of the Dept. of Dairy Science.