Some of our group in Forbidden City
On May 18th this year I started out on the trip of a lifetime. I flew out of Idaho Falls to Beijing China on a trip with about 25 others to visit horticulture universities, research facilities and businesses in China. I can’t even begin to convey what a wonderful opportunity this was.
Trip participants included professors and students from Texas A&M University, University of Florida, Mississippi State University, University of Wisconsin, and University of Hawaii, as well as a representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and U.S. horticulture businesses.
Students at Nanjing Agriculture University
We were gone for two weeks and visited the cities of Beijing, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Quanzhou, and Xiamen. One of the highlights of the trip, for me at least, was visiting with college students at Beijing Forestry University, Nanjing Agriculture University, and Fuzhou Agricultural and Forestry University. We had the chance to visit with the students in small groups and just ask questions of one another. The bonds formed in these small informal gatherings were personal and real, and reminded me how much we have in common with people on the other side of the world and how good people have similar desires, goals and dreams.
Greenhouse with Anthurium in Beijing
We also visited Xiaotangshan Modern Agricultural Science Demonstration Park, National Agriculture Science & Technology Demonstration Park, Jiangsu Jiangnan Biotechnology Co. (a mushroom growing and packaging facility), Jurong Tea Exposition Park, Jiangsu Academy of Ag. Science, Sunshine Horticulture Co., LTD, Ideal Affection Group Co., LTD, Shunyi Flower Port, and Xiamen Botanical Garden. And, of course, you can’t visit China without going to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, certainly one of the highlights of the trip.
The Great Wall from one of the towers.
Flora at Great Wall
I took over 1200 photos and numerous notes, but I’ve been so busy catching up since I got home that I haven’t had a chance to sort through it all. I will share some of the photos and info in a later blog, but for now I thought the quickest way I could share what the trip was all about would be to share the report of one of the students that participated, Flora Chen of the University of Hawaii and a native of Taiwan. (She had to report on the trip to earn credit, so she has her report done already, while I continue to procrastinate.) She kindly consented to allow me to post her report here to let you know a little about the trip.
More to come when I get more time.