Fourteen Cal Poly Pomona students attended a three-week study abroad course this summer in Costa Rica to learn about tropical sustainable agriculture.
The class was hosted by The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, known by its acronym, CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza) in Turrialba, two hours east of Costa Rica’s capital, San José.
Students learned about coffee, bananas, coco and other tropical crops. The students also discussed and debated critical issues in agriculture and sustainable development.
Highlights of the study-abroad included many visits to local farms where students learned directly from the farmers — Cal Poly Pomona’s “learn by doing” motto was in full force as students weeded fields, milked cows, made compost, and pruned groves.
Plant science, agricultural science, agribusiness and food industry management students from the Huntley College of Agriculture were joined by environmental biology students from the College of Science in attending the study-abroad class.
Aaron Fox, an assistant professor in the plant science department, was the faculty adviser that facilitated the class.