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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Notes from Zambia

The Z-Team Has Arrived!
July 28, 2010

Coming from all directions within the U.S.A, the Z-team has arrived in Washington, D.C. to begin the first leg of their FFA GO: Africa odyssey! Even though we have had numerous phone calls and e-mails between us over the last several months, this was the first opportunity to meet everyone in person. I must say that it has been a great pleasure.

Now, just who are these fabulous team members and what do they bring to the table?

Austin Larrowe
--Blacksburg, Virginia
--Virginia Tech, majoring in wood science
--Has experience in apiculture, raising Tilapia, sustainable vegetable production and grafting fruit trees

"It is a passion of mine to attack challenges at the root to establish understanding that transcends cultures and truly makes a positive difference in the lives of individuals."

Caleb Dodd

--Portales, New Mexico
--Texas Tech University, majoring in agricultural education
--Works on the family farm raising wheat, sorghum and beef cattle; manufactures and installs cabinetry; and serves as a student academic mentor

"Hunger will not be abolished by giving food to the hungry...teach someone to fish and feed them and those around them for a lifetime!"

Catharine Kuber

--Clovis, California
--Purdue University, majoring in ag economics, politics and communications
--Participated in the California 4-H Youth Development Program

"Providing a viable income option through economic incentives has historically been successful as seen in other market-based policies and incentive programs."

Jake Chilcoat

--Midwest City, Oklahoma
--Oklahoma State University, majoring in agricultural leadership
--Numerous community-centered experiences and has worked construction

"My passion for agriculture comes from my passion for people."

Laura Stump
--Gilbert, Arizona
--University of Arizona, majoring in animal science

--Experience in counseling and group facilitation and raising poultry

"I have always strived to live according to a code of justice and equality that begins locally and stretches globally."

Wyatt DeJong

--Kennebec, South Dakota
--South Dakota State University, majoring in agricultural education
--Experience in journalism, various youth agriculture organizations and serves as a herdsman at his family's cattle ranch

"We live in a global community where we need to think globally and act locally."

The first afternoon and early evening on D.C. soil consisted of the first phase of orientation activities held at the American Farm Bureau Federation office. This included ice breakers and discussions of issues dealing with Zambian history, agriculture and the political system. I must say that our team was very well prepared and shared great reflections. I can already sense a great level of synergy and bonding within the group. Our evening ended with a great meal at a downtown restaurant.

We look forward to our second and final day of orientation and final prep for the journey!

Brad Leger


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