MAB Plans 5th International Trip for France, Italy, Switzerland in August 2012

Switzerland is one of the stops on the 2012 MAB international tour. Participants will also visit France and Italy.(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

By Mary Bowen, Master of Agribusiness

The Master of Agribusiness program is planning its fifth international trip for Aug. 1-13, 2012, and will tour France, Italy and Switzerland. The tour will focus on agriculture in the European Union and is open to anyone interested in learning about the food and agriculture industry in the region.

Stops will include crop and cattle farms, dairies, cheese-making operations, wineries and olive groves, as well as professional visits to agricultural and food related industries. Guided sightseeing tours will be arranged along with free time to explore Rome and Paris.

Agriculture in the European Union
France is the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter, after the United States, with more than 70 percent of its exports of wine, beverages, wheat, meat, and dairy products going to other EU countries. The high quality of the nation’s agricultural products contributes to the excellence of its famous cuisine.

The land and climate in Italy is well-suited for raising fruits, vegetables and grain crops. The northern part of Italy primarily produces grains, sugar beets, soybeans, meat, and dairy products, while the south specializes in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, wine, and durum wheat. Most farms are small, with the average being around seven hectares.

Switzerland is known as the land of cows, with three-quarters of the farmed area devoted to meadows and pastures, as climate and terrain make most of the country unsuitable for crops. Cereals and vegetables are limited to the lowlands.

These three countries provide different views of the agricultural industry. We hope you will join us as we explore all the region has to offer. A tentative itinerary and pricing are available at For more information, contact Mary Bowen, or 785-532-4435.


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