Study ag in Costa Rica


Imagine hiking through a rain forest while white-faced monkeys watch you from the trees and visiting a tropical cloud forest overrun with Poor Man Umbrella plants and raging waterfalls. Or white-water rafting and toucan-watching in between learning how to use banana compost as a fertilizer for organic produce. Even better, imagine doing all of this and more and only paying $300 for the entire experience!

That’s exactly what this year’s national agricultural proficiency and American Star awards finalists could do as part of the 2013 Costa Rica Proficiency and Stars Travel Seminar next June.

FFA advisors: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If one of your FFA members is a proficiency or Stars finalist, it’s important that they apply for this seminar.

“Sometimes members are apprehensive about traveling outside the United States or leaving their work or home for nine or 10 days in June, but time and time again participants on this trip tell me that they are so glad that they did, that it was a truly life-changing experience -- something to not be missed,” Deborah Sellers, the program’s manager, said.

During the international seminar, participants have an opportunity to experience global agriculture in action, as well as Costa Rica’s vibrant culture. As the industry of agriculture becomes increasingly global, it’s crucial for FFA members interested in agriculture to understand the opportunities and challenges of international trade.

“The global marketplace can be a difficult concept for students to grasp. Visiting agribusiness and talking to industry experts in Costa Rica will help students see the similarities to U.S. agriculture and better understand how what happens in Central America can have implications back home,” Dwight Armstrong, CEO of the National FFA Organization, said. “Costa Rica is an ideal agricultural tour site because it includes some of the most diverse agriculture and geography in the world and is small enough that the group will be able to see most of the country during the trip.”

The seminar’s objectives include:

  • Allow participants to develop a global perspective and become more culturally aware of the diversity in agriculture around the world.
  • Increase awareness about the ever-changing global marketplace.
  • Connect global industry leaders with FFA members for internship and employment opportunities.
  • Empower participants with global knowledge, making them better able to share intercultural messages with FFA members in their home state.
  • Create a sense of community with people of other cultures and those involved in agriculture.

All Star finalists are eligible to participate. For each proficiency area, only one finalist may attend. If there is more than one applicant, the selection process will be made after proficiency judging at the National Convention & Expo.

Online registration for this trip will open on Nov. 15 and close on Jan. 15, 2013. Payment and all necessary paperwork, including a signed copy of your passport, must be received by Feb. 1, 2013. For more information, contact Deborah Sellers,