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Monday, May 24, 2010

I-CAL - Day 7 - Taiwan

We enjoyed a nice Japanese and Western style breakfast in our hotel before our first meeting of the day at 8:30. We started our first full day in Taipei, Taiwan with a meeting with the Clover Chang, Director of the U.S. Grains Council in Taiwan. We also listened to presentations from Mark Dries, Chief of the Agricultural Affairs Section of the American Institute in Taiwan, the equivalent of the U.S. embassy and Keith Schneller, Director of the Agricultural Trade Office of the Foreign Agricultural Service.

Then we left for a 10:30 meeting with the Council of Agriculture which is the similar to the United States Department of Agriculture. There we watched a video highlighting Taiwan agriculture and the programs they promote for farmers. We enjoyed some fresh fruit produced in Taiwan while we discussed the country’s agricultural sector with Dr. Kuei-son Sheu, Director of the Department of Animal Industry for the Council along with several of his staff. We were also surprised with a visit from the Deputy Minister of Agriculture for the Council. After spending a great deal of time discussing the many aspects of the industry, we headed off to lunch. We stopped along the way for a brief 10 minute visit at a large square and courtyard honoring one of the country’s greatest presidents. For lunch, we enjoyed fried pork – Japanese style!! This was also our first opportunity to use chopsticks in Taiwan.

During the afternoon, we visited the National Palace Museum, a world renowned museum of Chinese art and history of the past 5,000 years! Then we met back at the hotel for a brief break before walking a few blocks in downtown Taipei for supper at a local mall. To much of our surprise, there was Coldstone Creamery, where many of us enjoyed a little ice cream, a small piece of home. Then we walked around a bit downtown before heading back to the hotel, for some much needed rest and our nightly debriefing meeting. Stay tuned for more tomorrow as we tour Taichung Port and Charoen Pokphand Enterprise Co., a feed mill in Taiwan.

Ryan Hrubes – Iowa State University
Wil Baxley – North Carolina State University


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