TFFB President Kohtz talks about her European Fellowship
Washington--An exchange program supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation helps farmers around the globe collaborate and learn more about agriculture.
Clements: The McCloy Fellowship in Agriculture, an exchange program for promising American and German leaders in agriculture, offers international learning opportunities. The program takes four U.S. farm leaders to Germany and brings four German farm leaders to the United States. Elizabeth Kohtz, a farmer and dairy veterinarian from Twin Falls, Idaho, who has participated in the fellowship, explains the program.
Kohtz: For the Americans it involves a 10-day trip to Germany where we get to meet with fellow McCloy alumni, policy makers, agriculture experts, spend several days in Berlin learning about the government and the way agriculture is involved in the government and then doing tours of farms and various-sized cities to learn about how agriculture works in Germany.
Clements: She says the program allowed her to learn how agriculture works in Germany and compare it with the United States, on topics such as animal welfare and how the public views the treatment of farm animals.
Kohtz: We learned a lot about rules and regulations that are mainly dictated by consumers and grocery chains in Germany. And one thing that it did for me is it kind of reenergized my passion to advocate for animal agriculture here in the United States. A lot of the laws that are being passed there don’t have any scientific backing behind them and I’m hopeful that we can prevent that from happening in the United States.
Clements: She says programs like the McCloy Fellowship help U.S. farmers better understand agriculture issues globally.
Kohtz: Programs like the McCloy Fellowship are able to broaden our sights and give us a greater ability to analyze how the issues affect farmers in the United States and abroad. I have several different speaking engagements lined up so that I can share with other agriculturalists in Idaho about what I learned and hopefully be able to enlighten them and give them some insights to the global agriculture economy.