Costa Rica is commonly known as a tourist country, but have you ever considered its importance to agriculture? Its beautiful green rain forest and water make it known for ecotourism and the country has been identified as one of the greenest countries in the world.
Feb. 21 through March 3, I traveled abroad with Wright State Lake Campus agriculture students to Costa Rica. During this trip, we got the opportunity to see a unique side of agriculture and the Costa Ricans’ style of living. It was nice to escape the cold midst of Ohio and explore one of the most beautiful countries in Central America for spring break. From the spectacular Brahman cattle ranches and mountainside dairy farms to the waterfalls and deep delicious coffee and chocolate, it was eye opening for everyone.
Midway through the trip, we traveled to the Caribbean side and got to experience the tropics including fresh bananas, pineapple, and wildlife such as toucans, monkeys and iguanas. On the final day, we got to see a very large farm where they have palm oil, sugarcane, pineapple, and rice. This farm also rents land to Monsanto for research plots. It is interesting to see how they use resources from the states to farm. One of the men we met was employed right here in Ohio with Select Sires and he gave us a full presentation on dairy in Costa Rica while we sampled cheeses that were processed locally. Additionally we we toured two research farms, Center for Tropical Agronomy and Research Education (CATIE) and EARTH University which is where the Whole Foods Market processing facility is for banana production. I was very impressed with my first study abroad experience and would highly recommend anyone that ever gets the chance to take a trip like this to go. Seeing not only agriculture but the Costa Ricans’ lifestyle was very unique and it taught me a lot about different cultures and styles of living.