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21 January 2018 - Travel is a Great Education

I spend a fair amount of time talking and writing about the need to get an education and how valuable that education can be in all aspects of your life and career. That generally leads me to a discussion on the availability of scholarship money for students that are pursuing degrees in agriculture and agribusiness, and my final point is you have to search out the scholarship money that is available, it doesn’t come looking for you.

While a college education is extremely valuable, it’s not the only answer. I say this from experience because I was well-educated, but it all happened in a one room-eight grade country school, and in a four-year high school in Wisconsin, but only three weeks at the University of Wisconsin. I knew I wanted to be a radio announcer when I came out of eighth grade and they weren‘t teaching that at the UW. Fortunately I did receive an education that has enabled me to do that for 65 years…travel.

I think the greatest education you can get is through travel. I learned that rather quickly after getting into the broadcast business, because I had the opportunity to travel nationally at the beginning of my career, ultimately, visiting all 50 states and 44 countries to tell the story of agriculture. What a great education travel can be.

That is why I am so delighted to see more and more farmers taking foreign trips. I noted that over 70 FFA members just recently returned from a two-week trip to South Africa. Imagine what they learned, experienced and what they will use in their lifetime ahead.

Travel - acquainting you with people who are colored differently, speak different languages; eat different foods - all great learning experiences and a great education. Most importantly, around the world, people have the same desires…health, food, a better life for their family and peace.

I am convinced if we had more international travel, we would have a better understanding of what people in other parts of the world are thinking, how they live and provide for their families and what are their goals for the future.

So, commodity groups in agriculture who took me along on many of their foreign trade missions, Secretary’s of Agriculture who took me along on foreign trade missions - Thank you very much! Thank you for the education that enables me to understand in a much better way, the cultures of the world and share that knowledge with you, my readers and listeners.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.