ARTHUR H. THOMPSON TRAVEL
FELLOWSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS
Jaclyn Fiola Receives the 2015 Arthur H. Thompson Travel Fellowship in Hershey, PA.
Tyler Butler receives the 2017 Arthur H. Thompson Travel Fellowship Award in Hershey, PA.
Exploring India's Agriculture with LEAD Maryland
BY TYLER C. BUTLER
This past January along with 15 other LEAD Maryland fellows I headed off to the United Arab Emirates and India. This trip is the culmination of our two year program. The purpose of the international trip is to put our group of up and coming agricultural leaders out of our comfort zone and to give us the opportunity to gain different perspectives on other cultures. I was fascinated with the agriculture in India and would like to briefly share a few takeaways.
70% of farms in India are less than 2.5 acres. No that is not a misprint! This country that is roughly the size of one third of the United States is comprised of tiny family owned farms. In January India’s agricultural state called Punjab can be described in two colors, green and yellow. On our drive through the country we passed vast fields of wheat and seas of yellow mustard. Rice is the most important crop in India, but since we were visiting during the winter season rice was not yet planted. The climate of India sets up a rotation of wheat in the cooler winter months and rice in the monsoon summer months. A few other crops we noticed were sugarcane, cauliflower and potatoes, which are also very much a part of the Indian diet.
Education and agriculture extension programs are desperately needed in order for this country to sustain its massive population growth which now exceeds 1.2 billion.
I would like to thank the Maryland State Horticulture Society for helping sponsor this trip of a lifetime. The knowledge and perspectives gained from international trips like these are invaluable. I am a better farmer and agricultural leader because of this opportunity and am so grateful for the support of MSHS.