Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program Set for UK TourWed, 08 Feb 2012 19:21:30 CST
Members of Class 15 of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program are making final preparations for an agricultural tour of Scotland and Ireland which begins next week. The comprehensive ten-day tour is part of the leadership program which helps develop future leaders in Oklahoma agriculture.
This year’s tour encompasses a wide swath of the agricultural landscape in Scotland and Ireland with stops highlighting the entire process from production through marketing, distribution and consumption.
One of the group’s early stops will be to the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. It is the leading organization for farmers and stockmen in the country. The organization also organizes the great Royal Highland show. Presentations will be made on the RHASS and the contributions it makes in contemporary agriculture. The group will also hear about policy issues affecting Scotland and the urban/rural divide. Also on the agenda is a talk about how the Scottish Young Farmers organization tries to encourage young people to stay on the farm.
A stop at Sainsbury’s Supermarket in Straiton rounds out the day so tour participants can check prices and food quality. Sainsbury’s is one of the two major supermarket retailers in the UK.
The bulk of the tour will be spent in Ireland with stops at one of the world’s oldest orchards, the world’s largest thoroughbred breeding facility, dairy operations, and the Guinness brewery.
A major stop on the Irish leg of the trip will be a visit to Alltech’s European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne. Alltech is one of the leading animal health company’s in the world. The Bioscience Centre was opened in 1999 and supports operations in 42 countries. Its research facility encompasses biotechnology, microbiology, and chemistry. The facility has formed collaborative links with several universities in the area.
A stop in Fethard will include a tour of Coolmore Stud, the world’s largest breeding operation of thoroughbred horses. The Magnier family has been producing champion racehorses since the mid 19th century.
The Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership program also emphasizes an understanding of economics, culture and politics. Several stops on the tour will focus on those areas. Participants will have the opportunity to visit some of the castles that dot the landscape as well as museums and cultural centers.
One of the highlights will be the “Queenstown Experience” in Cobh. Exhibits include information on life in Ireland through the 18th and 19th centuries, mass emigration, the Great Famine, and the transport of petty criminals to Australia.
The Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Program is open to men and women 25 to 45 years of age who are active in production agriculture and aspire to leadership roles. The program itself consists of a series of seminars and study tours over a two-year-period. Among the topics that are emphasized are leadership development, communication, government operations, economics, agriculture, religious and cultural studies.
If you would like more information about the OALP, you can find it by clicking here.
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