AGR*2500 Costa Rica Trip 2024


On February 16, 2024, 18 students along with Dr. Max Jones and Graduate Program Assistant, Tara Israel departed for the AGR*2500 Field Course in International Agriculture in Costa Rica. The following is a article written by one of the participating students, Jessica Collier.

The AGR2500 Field Course in International Agriculture is a unique opportunity to experience tropical agriculture in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Whether you are a fourth year agriculture student from a farm background, a first year animal biology student striving for vet school, or a marine and freshwater biology student minoring in agriculture like me, there is something for everyone to learn on this trip.

You will get to visit a range of local farmers from across the country, hear about their stories and experiences, all while experiencing local culture that the average tourist would never encounter. With the expert leadership of local guides, you will see a range of crop and livestock production systems including (but not limited to) coffee, cacao, dairy, sugar cane, pineapple, palm oil, and more. An extra bonus is the fresh product sampling that follows a farm visit (e.g., chocolate, coffee, cheese!). Not only do you get to see farms ranging from 3 to 1,300 hectares, you will learn about how farmers overcome challenges related to tropical farming and the efforts they make to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

This field course was a really eye-opening experience for everyone on the trip to see how Costa Ricans view their fields and soil compared to Canadian farmers. Our perspectives were broadened when learning that you don’t need the newest technologies to make a positive impact on the environment, all while exploring the stunning rainforests, botanical gardens, and beaches of the country.

It is hard to put into words how much we experienced, and the incredible connections we made over the 10 days of our trip, but the one thing I can assure you is that the AGR2500 field course is an experience you will never forget.

Jessica Collier

Participating students and faculty/staff members in Costa Rica

Students on a facilities tour in Costa Rica

Students taking a rest break

Flowering plant

Costa Rican guide teaching studentsStudents watching a demonstration

Class photo