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LeadAR goes to Argentina

by Noah Washburn - April 12, 2017

Sixteen Arkansans toured the cities and farm fields of Argentina last month as part of Extension's LeadAR program, a two-year leadership development program that recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

LeadAR Class 17 embarked on the 12-day International Study Tour to Argentina in early March. Sixteen class members and two Community and Economic Development faculty were part of this educational opportunity.

International trips such as this one are meant to expose class members to a different culture so they can gain a different perspective on another country's issues and understand the impact of international policies on Arkansas interests. They also build relationships, which can enhance Arkansas' opportunity to market products overseas and further cultural interactions between the two communities.

The tour began with two days in Buenos Aires, where the group visited the largest fruit and vegetable distribution market in the country, received a welcome from the U.S. Embassy and USDA representatives, and enjoyed Tango lessons and a show.

The class visited a farming operation producing beef, soybeans, popcorn, wheat, and oats. In Rosario, the group investigated how grain was transported on the Parana River, and visited a soybean promotion organization and the Rosario Board of Trade.

Additional stops during the 12-day trip included the Argentina/Uruguay Hydroelectric Complex to tour facilities; an experience at the El Palmar National park, known for its palm tree habitat; and a visit to Colón to tour the National Agricultural Technology Institute – Experimental Station, where the main focus is rice improvement projects.

The group visited the first president of Argentina’s home, called Palacio San Jose’, before returning to Buenos Aires where they visited the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, the Argentina Trade Chamber, and toured the Liniers Livestock Market and the School of Agriculture of the University of Buenos Aires.  

Class 17 members who participated in the trip included Craig Allen, Price Boney, Shannon Caldwell, Lisa Chappell, Brittney Dennis, Donna Ferguson, Brad Fortner, Sarah French, Heather Harvey, Andrea Leding, Matt McDonald, Randy Newman, Amelia Rich-Elam, Jeramy Richey, Gracia Stroud, Avinash Thombre, Kim Magee and Noah Washburn.

LeadAR, the Arkansas Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program, is conducted by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. It is designed to give emerging leaders the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and outlook, develop leadership skills, and gain confidence in their own abilities. For more information contact Noah Washburn at  

LeadAR group photo

A class member looks at a rice field in Argentina

Meat was a popular meal in Argentina