Kansas State University


Department of Agricultural Economics

MAB Program Update

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program is offering travel to Brazil to learn about the food and agriculture industry in that country. The trip is scheduled for June 11 – 20, 2016 and will include stops at an ethanol plant, crop and cattle farms, sugar cane and coffee farms, as well as professional visits to agricultural and food-related industries. Guided sightseeing tours will be arranged along with free time to explore, and two days at the beautiful Iguazu waterfalls.

Agriculture is a principal driver of the Brazilian economy. While sugar cane has been a primary focus, Brazil has become one of the world’s largest exporter of coffee, soybeans, beef, sugar cane, ethanol and frozen chickens.

Allen Featherstone, Head of the Agricultural Economics Department and Director of the Master of Agribusiness program, thinks people will enjoy getting a different perspective on agriculture.

“While Brazil is a direct competitor for U.S. agriculture, their perspective on many issues is very different than the U.S. perspective,” Featherstone said. “Understanding management challenges in a region that deals with turbulent macroeconomic conditions, no formal government support, and few formal insurance markets will provide a keen insight into one of the biggest challengers to the U.S. agricultural system. Understanding the effects of the Brazilian Real devaluation will also be educational.”

Previous international trips hosted by the Master of Agribusiness program have been to South America, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Europe. Travelers get a mix of cultural sightseeing and international agriculture, while building relationships with members of the group.

“The MAB trip to Southeast Asia was a great experience. We enjoyed learning about the culture, history and agriculture in the region. The business and industry tours really added to the experience. It was fascinating to learn how the different country’s government structure has influenced business and agriculture. It added a glimpse of the culture we might not have otherwise taken in if we traveled on our own,” Master of Agribusiness Alumna Leslie Svacina said.

More information about the trip can be found at http://mab.k-state.edu/internationaltours/brazil2016.html or by contacting Mary Bowen at 785-532-4435, mjbowen@ksu.edu.