Natural Resources and Agricultural Sustainability in the UK Scotland: Study Abroad, Summer 2010
Background & purpose Trip Goals: Experiential Learning Technology Transfer partially funded by a travel grant from the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture Who was Norman Borlaug? An agronomist.
His work on high-yield, disease resistant grains helped save billions of lives from starvation in: Mexico, Asia, Afria, India, and Pakistan
Inspired by: The Man Who Fed the World “Reach for the stars. Although you will never touch them, you may get a little stardust on your hands.”
Norman Borlaug (1914 – 2009)- Agronomist & unsung hero
Father of the Green Revolution
Mission Scotland will serve as a comparative case study of U.S. and Scottish natural resources, land use, agricultural production, and management practices. Students will observe how … geography, culture, history, and economics help define sustainable solutions. Topics to be covered are: • Conservation • Energy production • Farming • Fisheries • Forestry • Manufacturing • Sustainable land use • Tourism • and Soil Sampling
Team Scotland Inter Disciplinary
3 Grad Students
Andrew Gayley Jason McMillan Brittany Bates John Baddeley/SAC Laura Bradt Robin Walker/SAC Rachel Brooks Rachel Brauner Ben Meritt
Trip leaders Led by Co-Facilitators from the: Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dr. Jacqueline Aitkenhead-Peterson Assistant Professor ofUrban Nutrient and Water ManagementDepartment of Soil and Crop Sciences Dr. Cristine L. Morgan Assistant Professor of Soil Science Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Miss Orie Varner (not pictured) Trip Advisor Study Abroad Programs Office (SAPO)
Travel Route Houston - London – Aberdeen
Distance: > 5,000 mi
Time: 23 hrs? w/ layovers, ash, taxis
Travel Route 1,400 mi Road Trip
Figure 8 (Aberdeen to Aberdeen)
All geographic regions
Academics & research Overview: Crash-course in the organization of Scottish technical higher education Interacted with: 20 Administrators, Instructors, and Researchers from … Academic and Research Institutes, and also visited … Active Field Research Stations Observed all geographic regions
NE Grampian Region Macaulay Land-Use Research Institute
Ecology, mature forests, stream geomorphology, land management, and DOC in streams
Overarching Themes Land Management:
Scotland: 1/9 size of Texas
Population: 1/5 Texas
75% in less favored areas
Crop rotation and stewardship
3X rainfall of Texas
Peat bog leachate, fertilizer runoff, manure impacts, erosion, lochs
Agriculture is significant contributor
NO2 has 300X warming potential of CO2
80% reduction mandated by Kyoto
The Synthesis Triple Point:
Stewardship – Water Quality – Air Quality
Falls within a range dictated by:
- Market Price - System Health - Waste Minimization - Energy Conservation - Aesthetics of the land
The moving target is: Balance
The ‘balance’ seemed to be confounded by another intangible factor:
Heightened nationwide Social Conscious
Regarding food production and consumption
Noticed ‘Fairtrade’ labels in almost every store
What is Fairtrade?
The Synthesis Between 2004 to 2007: Scotland and Wales strove to become the world’s first Fairtrade Nations Mission: Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. Buy local – otherwise buy fair.
The Message Parting Thought:
Old Mediterranean proverb:“a triple braided rope is not easily broken”
In our case, those braids might be: Fair Trade - Stewardship – Education
Thanks to Dr. Peterson, Dr. Morgan, and Orie
They breathed life into an old quote by the German educator, Kurt Hahn: “Tell me, and I may forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I'll understand”
The group definitely has a better understanding of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sustainability in Scotland.
The end Big Thanks – it was brilliant!
Ode to A Haggis by rabbie burns Excerpts from Original Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!Aboon them a' ye tak your place,Painch, tripe, or thairm:Weel are ye wordy o' a graceAs lang's my arm.But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,The trembling earth resounds his tread.Clap in his walienieve a blade,He'll mak it whissle;An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,Like taps o' thrissle. Ye Pow'rswhamak mankind your care,And dish them out their bill o' fare,Auld Scotland wants naeskinking wareThat jaups in luggies;But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,Gie her a haggis! Translation Fair is your honest happy faceGreat chieftain of the pudding raceAbove them all you take your placeStomach, tripe or gutsWell are you worthy of a graceAs long as my arm But take note of the strong haggis fed ScotThe trembling earth resounds his treadClasped in his large fist a bladeHe'll make it whistleAnd legs and arms and heads he will cut offLike the tops of thistles You powers who make mankind your careAnd dish them out their mealsOld Scotland wants no watery foodThat splashes in dishesBut if you wish her grateful prayerGive her a haggis!