Sunday, March 26, 2017

Education in Agriculture is Feeding the Haitians

While in Haiti, the Hawkeye Community College gang took part in an Agriculture Summit. The summit was put on by the Agriculture students and Agriculture Dean at UCCC. The summit lasted two days and was held at the UCCC campus. Over 200 Haitian farmers attended and some walked over an hour just to be in attendance. The summit started at 9:00am and all the farmers were early because they were so excited, as were we! As the farmers arrived, the students from Hawkeye, including myself put name tags on every person in attendance. It was very difficult for us because the Haitians couldn’t speak English, luckily we had great translators. It was so touching to get to know the Haitians name and get to chat with them a bit before the summit started. At the Ag Summit, many different aspects of agriculture were touched on. Agriculture students from UCCC presented their studies that they have been working very hard on. One study was using in season fertilizer on their crops and the results were amazing. Haitian farmers were shocked that this method worked and the Hawkeye Community College gang was amazed at how well their study worked. Two years ago the students corn was only producing 20 bushels/acre, and now with the help on in season fertilizer, their crops are producing 100 bushels/acre. One of the students thanked the crew from Hawkeye Community College for teaching them about using in season fertilizer saying “This has literally changed our lives”. This concept has now been proven to work in Haiti so local farmers are now considering using this to help with their crop production.  The Agriculture Dean at UCCC and Professors from Hawkeye Community College then had a round table discussion about issues and new concepts in agriculture. This lasted for a very long time due to the fact that the Haitians are so eager to learn and solve hunger in their country. It was rewarding to have Haitian farmers learn from us, as well as learning from them. With enough education in agriculture, Haiti will be able to feed their people.

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