A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but for University of Georgia students who participate in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ (CAES) Ag Abroad Photo Contest, they are worth much more.
These students’ photos are representative of an expanded worldview, unique educational opportunities and life-changing travel experiences.
For the past five years, the CAES Office of Global Programs has asked students to share the photos that they’ve taken during their travels abroad. The photos are then displayed at the college’s annual International Agriculture Reception in April.
For some, the contest is a way to share a piece of their home country. For others, it’s a chance to document what they learned during their study abroad trip or international internship. And still for others, it’s a chance to show off their skill with a camera.
Whatever the motivation, the photos allow the contest participants and their fellow students to learn about agriculture in a way that they might not encounter during a class or a domestic internship.
“The Ag Abroad Photo Contest is a way for students to tell a meaningful story from their time abroad and to reflect upon what they encountered,” said Amanda Stephens, associate director of student engagement for CAES and the contest’s organizer. “These students have life-changing experiences, and their photos are a snapshot into a particular culture and the moments that impacted them greatly.”
“Two students may have the same experience abroad but take away completely different perspectives,” she said. “The photo contest gives students a chance to process and interpret their international experiences while sharing them with other students who may be encouraged to go abroad in the future.”
This year students submitted 33 photos from five different continents. The winning photos were taken in Tanzania, China and Nepal.
Charlotte Goldman, a pre-med and biological sciences major from Bethesda, Maryland, took her first place-winning photo, “Cash Cows and Little Goat, Too,” near Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. The photo depicts a Datoga woman, who is milking one of her family's cows, allowing a baby goat to nurse from the cow. The Datoga are a pastoral tribe that places a high value on cattle for their livelihood, both as a currency and as a symbol of status. Goats are also used as a currency, though they are seen as much less valuable.
This year’s second-place photo, “Farming System,” by Nepalese poultry science doctoral student Pratima Adhikari, shows a typical day of rice cultivation in the hills of Nepal. Every member of the household participates and goes into the field to plant the rice, and every household farms to produce the food they need for the year, Adhikari wrote in the caption.
Chongxiao Chen, a graduate student from Mudanjiang,China studying poultry science at UGA, took home third place with his photo "Free Range."
For more information about the study abroad programs offered by CAES, visit global.uga.edu. To see the rest of the photos submitted to the 2015 Ag Abroad Photo Contest, visit tinyurl.com/AgAbroad2015.