USA students take in Aussie agriculture

AMERICAN university students paid a visit to Leeton last week as part of an agricultural tour of the area with Charles Sturt University (CSU).

The 12 third and fourth year agricultural science students visited Leeton last Wednesday and spent time at Barry and Gillian Kirkup's rice farm, as well as at Garry and Mary Knagge's property.

The students were from the Western Illinois University (WIU), which is 400 kilometres south-west of Chicago.

At the Kirkup farm, students discussed many issues related to growing rice and raised questions with Mr Kirkup.

While at the Knagge's property, the students talked about how to integrate rice farming with natural resource management.

It isn't the first time students from the American university have came to Leeton, with visits in 2009 and 2011 co-ordinated by CSU emeritus professor Ted Wolfe.

"Students from Western Illinois University visited Charles Sturt University in 2009 and 2011," he said.

"Over previous years, three of our students have studied at WIU for a semester and we have hosted two students as part of international exchanges.

"The Riverina is a wonderful setting for agriculture."

WIU's associate professor in international agriculture Tom Brueningalso accompanied the group.

The group also spent time in Wagga at the university, as well as an overnight stay in Griffith to visit a sheep stud, winery and orchard.

STUDENTS from the Western Illinois University talk about rice production and water efficiency with Gogeldrie rice farmer Barry Kirkup (right).

STUDENTS from the Western Illinois University talk about rice production and water efficiency with Gogeldrie rice farmer Barry Kirkup (right).

GOGELDRIE farmer Garry Knagge (centre) discusses plans on his farm for crops, livestock and tree belts with the Western Illinois University students.

GOGELDRIE farmer Garry Knagge (centre) discusses plans on his farm for crops, livestock and tree belts with the Western Illinois University students.