Bailey Bowe, CALS Peer Advisor
A new program has been added to the CALS Study Abroad program portfolio. UW Food Systems and the Environment in Northern Japan—Obihiro, Japan to be exact. This two week program will take place for the first time this coming August. UW students on the program will be attending class sessions and site visits with students from Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine on the northern island of Hokkaido in Japan.
The program developed out of an academic partnership between the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (OU) and UW-Madison that has been in existence since 2014. Jiwan Palta, UW-Madison Professor of Horticulture, is the Obihiro program leader. With his ties to the Hokkaido area, Palta will travel with UW-Madison students in August and will instruct them alongside OU faculty Akio Miyamoto, Professor of Animal Medical Science, and Rintaro Kinoshita, Assistant Professor of Soil Science. Palta recently made a program site visit in November, accompanied by Susan Huber Miller, CALS Director of International Education and Study Abroad. Palta and Huber Miller got a chance to see the OU campus and visit the sites in Obihiro that UW-Madison students will get to see this summer.
“One of my favorite things was visiting the Kyodogakusya Shintoku Farm, which is owned by a UW-Madison Dairy Science alumnus. The farm uses the fresh cow’s milk to make cheese using a traditional French method and is well-known as a model for alternative dairy farming and cheese production,” Huber Miller explained.
Hokkaido has a diverse agro-ecosystem and is the largest agricultural production area in the country. It also uses similar agricultural practices to Wisconsin. The climate, seasonal changes, and landscapes are similar to Wisconsin but with mountains and very different growing environments due to the volcanic ash soils on the island.
“It will be a great hands-on opportunity for students to learn about Food Systems on a global scale and make comparisons between northern Japan and Wisconsin,” said Huber Miller.