​AGEC Students spend spring break soaking up Italian culture

Written by: Laura Barrett, Ag. Communications and Ag. Economics, Class of 2022

Over spring break four Agriculture Economics students traveled to Italy where they visited Parma, Florence and Rome. Their trip was focused on the food, history and culture as they had the opportunity to see different agriculture practices along with their adventures. 

Among those students was junior Kevin Hardin (Junior; Agribusiness Management; Lexington, IN). His highlights of the trip were learning about Parmigiano Reggiano production and experiencing Florence, Italy. They learned on the cheese tour (pictured) that in order to be sold as “Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano” the ingredients going into the product must fit the criterion of being grown/raised in the same specific region. He enjoyed their time in Florence because of its amazing food, people, and “perfect mix of agriculture and city life.”

Another a Florence fan, Mitchell Scott (Senior; Farm Management; Greenfield, IN) says, “It was nothing short of incredible. They sell many leather goods in a market where prices are flexible, and you have the opportunity to buy products unlike anything you have ever seen.” Prior to the trip (his first ever study abroad), Mitchell was most looking forward to seeing Rome. “Out of the whole trip, my favorite part traveling to see the Vatican. We were able to see the Sistine Chapel and it was amazing to see the stories of Christ that are told within the walls and ceilings of this chapel.” 

Harlee Sullivan (Sophomore; Agribusiness Management; Newberry, IN) said an interesting thing she learned over the trip was, “When inspectors come into the Parma ham facility, they use a HORSE BONE to poke the ham to check if the ham has the correct aroma. No other bone can be used and there is no synthetic replacement for the horse bone.” Her favorite place they visited on the trip was De Negris. There they had the opportunity to taste test and learn about balsamic vinegar production. 

Kevin recommends the trip by saying, “I have lived and breathed agriculture my whole life and to have the opportunity to share the passion I have with other Purdue students and new people in another country, is something I will be able to cherish for the rest of my life... I encourage anyone who has the [slightest] want to study abroad to just go for it and try it because it is an experience you will not get again in your life. My trip was very structured, and I feel like I got my money’s worth. You won’t regret it if you go.”

Other AGEC students in attendance: Matthew Lucas (Junior; Commodity Marketing; Freetown, IN) 

Interested? Visit the College of Ag's study abroad website to learn more about the trip.

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