June 6, 2007

Purdue Extension's Costa Rica trip to run June 22 through July 2

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A two-week trip to Costa Rica sponsored by Purdue International Extension will help Indiana businesses learn more about South American markets.

This trip will focus on building cross-cultural communication skills, gaining tools to identify assets of diverse communities, cultivating an appreciation for tropical ecosystems and agricultural systems, and developing an awareness of the opportunities and challenges for farmers, consumers, and U.S. policy-makers in international trade.

"The rules are changing with South American trade," said Lee Stanish, Purdue University international youth and Extension specialist. "Costa Rica and Brazil are becoming more popular trade destinations because of these changes."

The trip from June 22 to July 2 will have 10 participants, including graduate students, high school agricultural teachers and representatives of Purdue, Purdue Extension and the New Ventures Team.

Each participant will be partnered with an Indiana agribusiness and will represent the business as a market researcher and conduct research for that company.

"Changes being experienced by Costa Rica and Brazil are that trade items such as cocoa and tropical fruits are becoming large exports while their need for furniture for high-end hotels has become a main factor in imports," Stanish said.

While visiting the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), they also will see an organic farmers' market, botanical garden and an organic coffee farm. Some other stops on the trip will be an organic vegetable farm, pineapple production, tilapia and rice production, a biodynamic farm, vanilla production, and production of sugar cane and ethanol.

The trip is partially funded through a U.S. Department of Agricultural international science and educational grant program. Purdue University, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and the New Ventures Team joined a partnership with CATIE University of Costa Rica for the trip.

Writer: Elizabeth Fritz, (765) 494-8402, elfritz@purdue.edu

Source: Lee Stanish, (765) 494-9831, lstanish@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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