Student’s Exploration of Animal Production and Environmental Issues in Italy

Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

Produzioni animali is the Italian translation of animal production. There is an entire learning community for freshman students that is revolved around that word, and one AGEC student had the opportunity to become involved with campus even before classes started through this program. Natalie Lodolo (Freshman; Agribusiness Management; Arcadia, CA) traveled for 10 days this past July on a study abroad trip titled “Produzioni Animali: Exploring Animal Production in Italy.” 

Once students travel over the summer, they return to campus as members of the Produzioni Animali Learning Community for the fall semester. According to Purdue’s Learning Communities page, this program introduces students to animal production and environmental issues in Italy all while the students earn college credit. Natalie was able to gain knowledge about agricultural production practices in other cultures and find the differences between practice in our own culture. The group toured several dairy farms as well as a sheep farm, which was her personal favorite, and explored the production of cheese, wine, and prosciutto. 

Natalie's goal for the trip was to gain a knowledge foundation of farming as she did not grow up with a farm background. “I learned a vast amount of information in such a short time.”

Natalie felt that food varies in Italy were based on the amount of tourism. In the major cities, food options were broader compared to the little cities where the food needed an acquired taste. “The most impactful aspect from the trip was identifying culture differences within a single country, as well as the cultural differences between the United States.” As another example: in Venice, Italy, boats are the only type of transportation, which is different from the rest of Italy and the United States. 

Her favorite part was attending a sheep farm in the Alps. During summertime, the Alps are still snow-capped while it was very hot in the city. Natalie enjoyed viewing the natural aspects of Italy and exploring the country side because it showed a different culture than the downtown district.

“I would highly recommend anyone to study abroad because it expands your academic and personal horizons.” She appreciated all the possibilities there was to enhance her knowledge about another culture as well as help identify her own. She also deems studying aboard a fantastic opportunity to make new friends and create long-lasting memories with amazing people. Also, her participation in a learning community allowed her to meet these individuals and continue to network with them during the fall on campus. 

If you are interested in reading more about learning communities within the College of Agriculture, you can follow this link: 

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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