For her study abroad experience, recent graduate Sydney Endres, who is originally from Lodi, Wisconsin, went to Mexico for two weeks through an Agriculture and Life Sciences program called “Mexico Food Systems and Society.”
On the program there were five UW students, one UW professor and four students from different universities in Mexico. The group traveled throughout central Mexico, visiting a variety of farms. Professors from universities in Mexico also joined them to teach about various aspects of Mexican agriculture.
A dairy science and life sciences communication major, Endres wants to work on a farm in the U.S. some day, and the visit gave her a deeper understanding of the agriculture industry.
“The language and culture already interested me,” Endres said. “Being able to take that classroom experience to actually go into the country and practice the language and see firsthand what we’ve learned was really appealing to me.”
She saw firsthand the challenges faced by Mexican farmers, such as difficulty in adopting new farming technologies, Endres said. In some cases, the farmers need help from the government to get new farming equipment, but many Mexican farmers that Endres talked to didn’t trust their government. This made getting new technologies a risk.
Endres came away with a better understanding of trade relations between the U.S. and Mexico, but also a broader perspective about the world in general.
Beyond learning more about agriculture, Endres said she loved experiencing a new culture. She said everyone was welcoming everywhere she went. Most people had a “slower pace” of life, Endres said, but not in a bad way.
“The thing that I enjoyed most was the people and just getting to understand a different culture,” Endres said.
Learn more about the UW Sustainable Development, Food Systems and Animal Agriculture in Mexico on the program website: studyabroad.wisc.edu/MexicoFoodSystems