I realize it has been some time since my last posting.  But wait, before you write me off as being lazy or having given up, listen to my excuse.  

Rice paddies outside Taipei, Taiwan

On January 12th, I and the rest ofthe Nebraska LEAD Class 31, left for an educational tour of Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan returning on January 24th.  The weeks beforehand were spent scrambling around getting my cases and staff organized in preparation for my 12 day absence from the office.  

Before talking about the travels, I want to explain how I got to the point of boarding a plane for SE Asia.  In the spring of 2011, I applied for the Nebraska LEAD Program, which is a leadership development program geared towards Nebraska residents involved in production agricultural and agri-businesses.  The mission of the program is “To prepare and motivate men and women in agriculture for more effective leadership.”  To fulfill that mission, the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council selects a new class of 30 applicants each year for two-year program of monthly educational seminars held throughout the State.  Throughout the seminars, class members are provided an education on agriculture and the leadership skills necessary to take agriculture into the next generation. 

During the second year, the class is sent on an international study/travel seminar.  The location of the international study/travel seminar which changes every year.  This year, LEAD Class 31 traveled to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan.  Over the next several days, I plan to blog about my experiences in those countries and what I learned of their agricultural practices and the regulatory system in which it works.