Domestic Study Tour: Texas
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February 2023 Texas Domestic Study Tour: Initially, we were going to try to coordinate a domestic study tour at a different location this year. However, due to COVID, we opted against a new location and took advantage of our invitation from the Texas TALL program to return to Texas. The relationship made with the Texas leadership program and the key connections already established by Linda Andrews was instrumental in making our domestic study tour a rewarding experience. Dr. Jim (Texas TALL Leadership Program Director) assisted in planning our study tour and incorporated alumni involvement at each tour stop. Flying into Houston and then departing from San Antonio, participants gained valuable perspectives on the impact of agriculture in Texas. While we had visited several of the locations during previous study tours, the new locations visited were outstanding displays of leadership and innovation. Further, participants enjoyed having the Texas alumni travel with us throughout the different stops along the tour. They were able to provide additional insight and history on the tour stops as well as share agricultural challenges that they experienced. For example, the group has toured King Ranch numerous times, however, due to a key connection with TALL alumni, participants received a “behind the scenes” tour this year. As in previous years, participants enjoyed learning more about the Texas and Mexico border and how that impacts the daily lives of those who live in those counties. To conclude the trip, participants enjoyed visiting Mr. Russell Boening’s (President of the Texas Farm Bureau) farming operation. Furthermore, we are grateful for the hospitality in Texas as well. Several of their alumni also sponsored dinners for the cohort. This was a wonderful relationship-building experience for both the North Carolina and Texas cohorts.