Fort Valley State University students travel to West Africa

The university took seven students to Ivory Coast and Ghana in West Africa.

Fort Valley, Ga. – Fort Valley State University is taking agriculture to new lands. This is a rare course abroad for the school.

Tyler Dorsey is a senior animal science major at FVSU and one of 7 undergraduate students to receive the opportunity of a lifetime.

Dorsey says studying abroad introduced her to new opportunities, and she learned about foreign agriculture that you wouldn’t find in the States.

“One of the things I notice is that different products come with different problems,” Dorsey says. “If you touch a rotten part of one cacao pod, if you touch another, it will also rot, and if you don’t take those pods off the tree, eventually, it will affect the other pods.”

Minya Miller, senior and agricultural economics major, said her biggest expectation was seeing how feminism was embraced in West Africa.

“A lot of women were in charge and in high positions, so what I was seeing was really cool and inspiring,” says Miller.

Students traveled to Cote d’lvoire in France for Ivory Coast, the highest market for cocoa beans.

Five days later, they traveled to Ghana to learn more about the cocoa industry and shea butter.

Prof Mohammed Ibrahim said it helps students develop international connections and cultural competence.

“When you’re exposed to things you’re unfamiliar with, you start to learn more about them,” Ibrahim says. “You never know when you’re going to use the information.”

The university says they are working on a new international program to help students learn new languages.

The school also says it is trying to bring in more study abroad programs for students. In 2015, they took students to Saudi Arabia, but the university struggled to secure funding for the project.

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