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REAL Montana Class V travels to Vietnam

Press release

Montana's top natural resource industry leaders recently returned from Vietnam as part of REAL - Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership - Montana.

After 30 hours of travel to the other side of the globe, Class V began their international experience in Ho Chi Minh City at the U.S. Consulate. Foreign Ag Service representatives described Vietnam as an up-and-coming market in Asia, with a fast-growing economy and rising household incomes. While in Ho Chi Minh City, the class explored historical sites and agricultural operations including a rubber tree plantation, worm farm, mushroom farm, and dairy. They traveled to the Mekong Delta, one of the biggest commercial centers in Vietnam, where they learned about fruit and vegetable farming and aquaculture.

The second portion of the trip was spent in northern Vietnam and began in Hanoi. After taking in a local market full of produce, meats, and textiles, the class visited The Blue Dragon Foundation, a non-profit focused on rescuing victims of human trafficking. The class provided school supplies and educational games for their childcare facility and school. Next, Class V traveled to the mountain region of Hoa Binh. Here, they visited a market and vegetable plantation, and interacted with local vendors. They worked together to purchase ingredients and prepare a meal with a local family including spring rolls, pho, and kohlrabi salad. Other highlights of the area included a tour of the Hoa Binh Hydro Power plant and a cultural show with the local Muong people.

The class then traveled to Ninh Binh, where they visited the Cuc Phuong National Park to learn about endangered animals and local vegetation. The final day in Ninh Binh included education on rice production, as Vietnam is the world's third-largest rice exporter. The class rode bicycles through majestic rice paddies, stopping along the way to learn about the production process. They then traveled by boat through channels used by locals to transport goods. They wrapped up the trip with an excursion to Ha Long Bay, where the group took in spectacular limestone formations, while observing local ports and learning about oyster production.

REAL Montana builds a network of informed and engaged leaders to advance the natural resource industries in Montana. Class V members were competitively selected from a pool of qualified candidates representing a wide variety of agriculture and natural resource industries across the state. The two-year program features eight in-state seminars; a five-day national study tour in Washington D.C .; and a twelve-day international trip.

REAL Montana is funded through a partnership with Montana State University Extension and private industry. Oversight is provided by an advisory board of industry leaders. Complete program information is available at https://www.montana.edu/realmontana .

 

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