On July 16 Le Bien Public, a Dijon, France-based newspaper, featured a story on a group of UK College of Agriculture students participating in UK’s Rural Development and International Food Business program. The article emphasizes how, while many would expect Americans traveling through Dijon to be sight-seeing, these students are studying the area’s agricultural industries, including wine, cheese, and chocolate production and are critically considering the distinctions between the American and French agriculture industries.
Rural Development and International Food Business is a two-week program led by UK’s Dr. Timothy Woods and Dr. Alison Davis that exposes students multiple layers of the international agriculture industry, from visiting farms to major manufacturers such as Nestlé. Students visit sites across both France and Switzerland as well as lean from faculty at AgroSup Dijion, a French institute of higher education specializing in agricultural and food sciences. Students earn credit for AEC 300: Special Topics in Agriculture Economics, though the program is open to students from all disciplines.
This program was first run in 1991 largely thanks to work from UK’s Steve Riggins, an agricultural economist. It has taken several forms since it was established, including as an exchange program that also brought French students to Lexington. You can find more information on the program’s history here.