Monday, November 7, 2016

International Development--Preparing for Haiti!

Hello, everyone!

It's hard to believe it's already November... The semester has flown by! I just wanted to share some information about a one of my classes-- Engagement Methods for International Food Security in Haiti (YDAE491). I have always been very interested in international development and food security, so when I learned about this course I knew it would be a great learning experience! Purdue has a collaboration with an agriculture-focused university in Cap-Haitien, Haiti-- Université Anténor Firmin (UNAF). This course provides Purdue students with the opportunity to design and present educational tools to Haitian students and agriculturalists at UNAF through a study abroad program, as well as learning about Haitian agriculture from collaborators in Haiti. 

The course is designed in three parts-- preparation and project planning in the fall semester; a 10-day service learning trip to Cap-Haitien, Haiti during winter break; and a follow-up class in the spring to reflect and build upon existing projects. Small groups of Purdue students are assigned to a specific project theme, with this year's groups focusing on water quality, food preservation and technology, intensive vegetable production, and business. These teams are interdisciplinary, and many agronomy students have been on this trip!

I am a member of the intensive vegetable production team, which is a new team this year. After some research and communication with collaborators in Haiti, we decided to address the challenge of insect pressure which can be a serious obstacle for vegetable producers. We are currently designing a presentation outlining the key concepts involved in integrated pest management strategies, and will be demonstrating simple methods for agricultural insect control including a DIY insect trap. 

This is a quick overview of the course and project, but I will be writing about my actual time in Haiti come January! I'm really looking forward to this experience and can't wait to give more updates soon. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions/comments!

Hailey Edmondson
Plant Genetics & Breeding, 2017

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