Agriculture education for religious groups

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Religions in the U.S. yearly have large numbers of its members going all over the world to interact with the populations of other countries. Those church members and seminary students are asked a wide variety of questions and sometime offer assistance to native populations. Situations related to agriculture are common.

One answer to assist those headed to other countries with agricultural questions and how agriculture is conducted is coming from Bayer Crop Science teaming up with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) to offer GoGrow, an agricultural seminar designed for anyone heading out to work in developing countries.

The goal of this introductory seminar is not to make participants experts on agriculture, but to expose them to a myriad of situations they’ll encounter in the developing world as well as provide them with resources/links they’ll need to begin answering questions. This year’s course will be held during the weekend of Nov. 2-3, 2012, in Wake Forest, N.C.

Southeastern Baptist Seminary has an on campus curriculum for master degree students that covers topics such as Christian theology, anthropology, history and other classical disciplines. “While these subjects are important for much of the work they will be doing, the students are often quite unprepared to offer assistance for some of the pressing physical needs,” noted Scott Hildreth of SEBTS.

Several years ago Bayer CropScience and the seminary school began discussions what lead to a lengthy ag education program for the seminary students headed to other countries. “News of this training spread across the U.S., and we were contacted about the possibility of putting together another training session. Because of this interest, we have decided to put together the GoGrow conference at Southeastern Seminar,” explained Hildreth.

He further explained, “The conference will introduce agriculture technology, with special emphasis on the complexities faced in developing countries. Presenters from Bayer CropScience will cover topics about soil fertility, plant disease control, insect management and irrigation issues. The goal will be to provide international development workers with resources to feed the hungry and encourage sustainable farming. For the first time ever, Southeastern has provided a way for students to receive academic credit (masters or bachelors level) for participation in this weekend event. We all admit that it takes more than a weekend conference to create an expert, however experts from Bayer will help the participants better understand the pressing questions and where to find answers.”

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