Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 6: Class 42 Shines at PAU

Cade Johnson (42) explaining why he came back to the family farm 
The sixth day of Class 42’s international seminar began in the Punjab city of Ludhiana where the class visited Punjab Agricultural University. At the university, Class 42 was invited to engage in a panel discussion with several deans from the university, the director of communication and numerous professors. During the discussion, the members of Class 42 had the opportunity to share their unique knowledge of agriculture with the well-respected professors of PAU. Topics of discussion included:  water treatment systems and water availability, crop improvement, supply chain management, cold storage and how to attract more young people into the field of agriculture in India, as well as, in the United States. The representatives from the University were very impressed with the knowledge and advice Class 42 had to offer on issues that farmers are currently facing in India. Equally so, Class 42 enjoyed learning more about the realities and advancements being made in agriculture in India. After the discussion wrapped up business cards were exchanged and many new relationships were formed. The PAU faculty were also very gracious in hosting us on a tour of a Punjabi cultural museum and a lunch at the Chancelor's House. We believe, the California Agriculture Leadership Foundation, and the CSU and UC systems, can look forward to a continued relationship with PAU.

In the afternoon, Class 42 visited Mushkabad Farms, a small contract vegetable grower in the Punjab region. There we met Davinder Singh, a PAU graduate and the director of Mushkabad. Davinder Singh has modeled Mushkabad after farms in California and is one of the first in the region to incorporate greenhouse growing, drip irrigation and cold storage into his operation. Davinder is a hands on farmer who is passionate about growing food in an innovative way and helping to transform Agriculture in the Punjab State of India.
Karm Bains (40) talking with Davinder Singh of Mushkabad
Mushkabad's Greenhouse Grown Pepper Plants

After our farm visit, the class hoped back on the bus and headed for Science City, a museum on the outskirts of the city of Jalandhar. There we were greeted by an onslaught of smiling faces and flashing cameras. Science City, a large India museum focusing on all things science, stayed open late so the delegation from California could visit their facility. Even though it was late in the evening, the class enjoyed the museum’s interactive exhibits and the chance to be interviewed by a local paper about our visit to the country. 
Today was an excited day for Class 42. The morning session with the people of PAU provided the fellows of 42 with an opportunity to showcase their immense expertise on all subjects in agriculture. Throughout our journey in this program we are often moved to search from within and challenge ourselves to evolve our "emotional intelligence."  However, today the professional intelligence of Class 42 was on full display. Not only did we leave a lasting impact on the leading agricultural university in India, but more importantly we shared a moment together where we were reminded just how dynamic the Class 42 family is. Together we showcased the quality of the California Agriculture Leadership Program and represented how important California agriculture is to the people of the world.  Not only in the wide variety of products we produce; but in the knowledge, passion and belief in agriculture that we share.  At the end of a long day we retired to our hotel in Jalandahar, proud.  Proud of each other and proud to be on this great journey together.

For more on our visit to PAU click on the Punjab Newsline link below.
Class 42 and Deans of Punjab Agricultural University



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