It’s a Small World

I have been feeling reminiscent about the study abroad to France I participated in last summer. I thought I would share some of the biggest things I learned:

  • Cattlemen care about their animals worldwide! As part of the experience, we had the opportunity to tour a variety of agricultural operations in France. When we toured cattle operations, the biggest aspect I noticed was that the cattle are happy! We strive to keep our animals happy and healthy worldwide.

    Maine Anjou

    The Maine Anjou breed is very popular globally. We were able to tour the birthplace of the breed.

  • Production systems are very different: in the United States, we are very land abundant. That is not the case in France.
  • Consumers have questions and concerns about food everywhere (and that’s okay!). Consumer education is critical everywhere. One of the farms we visited was set up so consumers could come and watch the cheese being made. Transparency in agriculture is an issue that producers are working to fix all around the world.

    Camembert cheese making

    This farm was set up so consumers could watch the Camembert cheese being made.

  • Some things are shockingly familiar: I anticipated everything to be vastly different in France. Although there definitely were differences, I was more surprised at the similarities.

    John Deere

    Several of the farms we visited used John Deere equipment (and other familiar brands).

  • Sustainability is a concern. A lot of the land in that part of the world has been used for the production of food much longer than the time the United States has even been a country. A common theme in the conversations we had with farmers is about the sustainability and their future plans for their operations.
  • Opinions about food vary around the world, and that’s okay! I stayed with a host family, and one night we had escargot for dinner. While we were eating, we were discussing some of the obscure foods we have eaten before. I brought up Rocky Mountain oysters and my host family thought that sounded disgusting.


    I’m pretty sure if you cook anything in enough garlic and butter it will taste great!

  • Ag pride is worldwide! Agriculturalists around the world are proud to produce safe, nutritious food. Agriculture is hard work everywhere, and people work hard to produce the food that goes on the table.

No matter the size of the farm, the kind of farm, or even where it is…agriculturalists are working to provide a high quality product for consumers around the world. I think we tend to lose sight of the big picture, we are all working together for a common mission: to provide the world with a Safe, savory, and nutritious product.


One common bond people across the world share: everybody has to eat

As a side note, if you ever have the opportunity to travel to another country, do it! Travel is a fabulous way to expand your view of the world and learn more about yourself in the process.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

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