Friday, March 10, 2017

Learning and Feasting

Today was a day filled with great learning and feasting. We kicked off the day with a typical Brazilian breakfast that included fresh fruits, breads, meats, cheeses, and eggs. From the hotel we made our way to the Ministry of Agriculture for Brazil. Pedro Viana Borges shared an excellent presentation with us highlighting agriculture in Brazil. Here are just a few interesting facts from the presentation:

  • 8 out of 10 glasses of orange juice around the world came from Brazil.
  • Brazil exports chicken to 135 different countries around the world.
  • There are more cattle than people in Brazil.
  • Lead the world in sugar, coffee, and orange juice production. 2nd leading producer of soybeans and beef worldwide.
  • "Brazil is a major power in agriculture, but they are committed to protecting the environment."

Following our time at the Ministry we enjoyed lunch at a Churrascaria (Brazilian Steackhouse) where they bring cut after cut of meat to your table. After lunch we had a little relaxation time before making our way to CODEVASF (Sao Francisco and Parnaiba Valley Development Company). CODEVASF is a private company that is working to enrich farm families and all families lives. They provide support through documents, technical/rural extension assistance, infrastructure development, and more. Lots of time irrigation projects are part of their work. The CODEVASF team shared a wealth of knowledge with us.

Next we met up with Jose at UnB (Unversidade de Brasilia) to learn more about Brazil as a country and tour campus. UnB has an enrollment of around 35,000 students. As we concluded our time on campus we returned to the hotel before enjoying a delicious supper at Pizza a Bessa. Pizza a Bessa is a restaurant with over 40 different types of Pizza. The employees continuously are bringing different types of pizzas to your table to enjoy. We all enjoyed the open air restaurant.

There is no doubt there was an abundance of knowledge and food consumed today! We look forward to an exciting day tomorrow as we travel to Pirenopolis.


M.E.T said...

From reading your posts and hearing that you ate at a Brazilian Steakhouse and had hotel breakfast, I'm just wondering how does the proportion of food you are given differ from that in the U.S? Do they eat more than we do? Less than us? Or is it the same?

Brad Kinsinger said...

We ate a lot this day. Normally Brazilians would not eat like we did today, but it was a special occasion for us. Most will eat a bigger lunch and then a lighter supper later. They have rice and beans almost everyday and they enjoy meat. I would say they eat less to the same as us, but eat healthier.

Reagan Orzech said...

Hi, Mr. Kinsinger! Based on your blog posts, you mentioned that Brazil is a major power in the agriculture industry but is also focused on protecting the environment. From my own research, I discovered that Brazil’s economy has grown tremendously within the past decade as they have gone from the ninth to sixth largest in the world which has brought benefits and negative environmental impacts. Having the highest rate of deforestation worldwide and having pollution threatening their water supply, I am curious how the individuals of this developing country are tackling this problem as Brazil is expected to play a major role in feeding the nine which will put further pressure on their already stressed territory. Did they mention any new methods in the presentation or any new technologies or organizations in which they have seen results? If so, are they learning new techniques from the U.S or could we be learning from them? Also, at this stage, does their focus mainly lie on cutting back on deforestation, conserving energy, protecting and cleaning their water supply, or something more? I would greatly appreciate a response and I hope you have more eventful days! -R.O, Somonauk

Brad Kinsinger said...

Excellent questions Reagan! They have done a lot lately with protecting their natural resources. They have implemented laws that farmers must have 20%-80% of their ground in natural/native habitat. The percentage depends on where they are located in Brazil. As you get closer to rainforests the percentage increases.

CODEVASF that we visited has done a lot in the region they are working in to better all in society along with the environment. They want to convserve water and improve water quality.

When we visited Embrapa on Monday they shared many practices they are researching to improve the environment and soil health. They are doing this through an integrated crop-livestock program. They are actually sequestering more carbon in the soil this way than they are in forests in the same area.

I hope this starts to answer some of your questions. Let me know what other questions you may have! Apologize if I missed anything. Early mornings and late nights here in Brazil!

Reagan Orzech said...

Thank you so much for taking your time and answering my questions! I am really learning a lot from your trip posts and it helps open my eyes even more since we are just now researching another country for our Global Agriculture class. Out of curiosity, what kinds of adjustments, if any, have you guys had to make with your water intake since they have just now started to improve water quality?

unknown said...

Reading these posts about your trip are quite nice and I am glad that you are sharing this new learned information with us because I have read some interesting things. For example, the fact that Brazil has more cattle than people is crazy to me! Is there a possibility that the US has a statistic like this one? I would also like to ask, what have you found the most interesting out of all that you have learned on this trip so far? Also what do you plan to do with this new found information when you get back? Another random thought of amazement...I did not know there were even 40 different kinds of pizza possible, but that is pretty cool. I am excited to read more of these blogs throughout your trip and hear more interesting things! My class and I are happy to be able to discuss things with you and I hope to be able to hear your thoughts! E.D. Somonauk

Brad Kinsinger said...

Reagan...We use nothing but bottled water. We even use bottled water when brushing our teeth to be safe. Water that may be alright for them in Brazil may have different microbes that we are not used too. For example when they come here they are not used to our water and can sometimes get sick.

Brad Kinsinger said...

ED...I always learn so much on these experiences right along the students. Even our hosts in Brazil tell us they learn new things every time we are there. One of the things that always sticks out to me when I travel is the willingness of others to share so much information. In the U.S. we often look at other countries as competitors while they look at us as partners in feeding the world.

You asked what I hope to take from this experience. Here is what I always tell our students. There are two main purposes of study abroad. the first is obvious, to see how another country does something. the second is often overlooked, but the most important and that is to take what you have observed and question your practices/ways back home. Whether you adopt one of their practices or it just gets you reevaluating how you do things, is the key.

Post a Comment