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Class XIII Curriculum

"Broadening our International Understanding"

 Seminar XII


December 5, 2007
Scribe: Joey Meibergen
Oklahoma State University

The seminar started at 9 AM at the Wes Watkins Center with some catch up from last months Seminar. There were a few people that were unable to attend the Noble Foundation visit and needed to give their presentations. Joey Meibergen started off with a presentation on Risk Management and why it is so important on Oklahoma farms. After Joey, Kevin Propps gave us a very passionate presentation on the Oklahoma School System and how a merit pay based program would be beneficial. Galynn Beer followed Kevin and gave us an informational presentation on how he uses climate diversification and precipitation-evaporation ratios in calculating fertility recommendations. Brian Jervis then gave us a presentation that he uses to teach people how to ID Gopher and Mole infestation followed by the many ways to control them. Kevin Long followed Brian and showed us a presentation on the production and harvest of peat moss. Joe Locke then pointed out the many ways to improve the education system in Oklahoma on the foundation that expectations should be higher and that they can be achieved.

After the presentations we got to what we had all been waiting for, The International Seminar. Dr. Robert Terry (Professor and Director of OALP Class VII-X) shared a very helpful and informational presentation on Class VIII’s visit to China. The slide show was very good and helpful on what to expect while there and traveling in China. His reassurances were very calming and included: 1.) we will all be very safe and well received. In fact there may be times that we will even be honored. 2.) The hotels are very clean and modern with very good accommodations. 3.) The restaurants and eating places are clean and there will be an abundance of food. Most meals are served in a buffet style in the center of the table. “The Chinese will eat anything that has its back to the sun and anything that walks across the ground” so pace yourself until you know the food agrees with you. Other helpful hints were: drink bottled water or boiled water, if you are a coffee drinker bring your own, despite your liberties as a US citizen remember that you are a guest in a Communist Country and try to represent OSU, OALP and the USA very professionally.

Once Dr. Terry finished his presentation we took a short break so that fellow program participant Edmond Bonjour could set up and give us his presentation. Edmond is the only one in the group that has been to China before. He gave us a nice overview of his trip to china including some great photos. We are very much looking forward to going and are glad Edmond will be there to help.

Brett Woods followed Edmond’s helpful presentation. Brett is with the OSU School of International Studies Coordinator, involved with International Outreach. Brett travels to China and Korea quite often and in fact taught in Korea for a few years after his graduation form OSU. Brett gave us very good presentation on the cultural differences in Korea and China versus the US. One hint that I found especially helpful was to always accept business cards with both hands and never put a received card in your pocket. Remember a slight bow instead of a hand shake will go a long way.

Once Brett has finished Penny Sizemore, an OSU graduate student and Chinese native, gave us a short lesson on culture and language. Penny was extremely helpful and gave us the ins and outs of bargaining in China. She teaches Chinese I and II. Her lesson with us mainly involved Chinese I. She taught us some of the simple Chinese phrases that will help us immensely. I don’t think anyone was aware of this before her presentation, but Chinese is actually one of the more simple languages to learn.

After Penny had finished her lesson Dr. Shida Henneberry from the OSU Agricultural Economics Department joined us to give her presentation on Chinese and Korean International Trade. Dr. Henneberry shared with us the import and export business of the two countries. Dr. Henneberry has traveled extensively to China and recently took a group of students. She also shared with us her most recent experience.

Dr. Henneberry’s presentation wrapped the day. Several class members went to the OSU basketball game that evening.

Scribe: Kevin Propps
December 6, 2007
Oklahoma State University

We started the morning promptly at 8 a.m. We met on the second floor of the Wes Watkins Center. Dr. Sanders met us at the door and we each chose to pick something out of his left or right hand. Depending on the hand we picked, we were sent to the front or back of the room. Dr. Sanders, Dr. Schatzer, and Dr. Trapp introduced us to the game called Green Revolution. The game consisted of 10 families with a family consisting of two players per family. The game also consisted of a buyer, seller, banker, 2 industrialists, 2 laborers, and the president.

Each family was given a certain amount of acres and a certain amount of people to feed within their family. We grew rice each year. Dr. Schatzer & Dr. Sanders communicated with the families. They would tell us each year if the rice crop received rain or was in a drought. There were 3 stages of the crop which consisted of germination, flowering, and middle growth. We raised crops for five years. At the end of each year, we would plant next year’s crop and buy any fertilizer, water wells, and pesticides that we could. Some of the families were not able to buy seed for next year and resorted to borrowing from the bank. At the end of the game, the family with the most land won the game along with the laborers winning the government side of the game. It was a fun exercise and we got an insight into how a third world country tries to survive with limited resources. During the game, we had a working lunch from Freddie Paul’s Steakhouse which consisted of sandwiches, chips, and cookies. We ended the game at 1:30.

Next, we proceeded to the first floor to listen to two speakers that would discuss further issues about China. We started at 2 o’clock with the first speaker Barbara Charlet.

Barbara Charlet is with the Oklahoma Department of Ag and is the market development coordinator. She received her Masters degree from OSU and has been with the department of Ag for 13 years. She visited China in 1999.

She gave us an overview of the China/Korea market. She indicated the at China’s real GDP growth is close to 10%. Retail sales have increased by 15% in 2006. China is considered the world’s largest trading market. They rank 7th in the worlds retail market. The hotel and restaurant trade is really expanding in China and Korea. China spends 33% of their income on dining and hotels. Food sales constitute a large portion of the retail sales. She stated that the Chinese business culture considers that time is an investment (do not rush) and understand face.

The next speaker was Dessie Apostolova with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. She is the director of the International Trade office. She has been with this office for 3 years. She is from Bulgaria. Her presentation was about Oklahoma business trading in China/Korea.

She stated that China is the 4th largest economy in the world. 2/3rd’s of the people are under the poverty line. 25% of the highest IQ’s in China is more than all of the students in the U.S. China is considered to have the largest wireless technology in the world. She stated that Korea has very impressive business salve. Korea is trying to phase out import duties in the next 10 years. Technology is changing everyday.

At 4 o’clock, we proceeded over to the Edmond Low Library to the second floor. We each had our own computer. Lynn Simpson-Scott, agricultural sciences librarian, with Edmond Low Library, instructed us on several different ways to do research for our topics on China or Korea. She led us through several different web sites that are more in depth than goggle or yahoo. The websites included Agricola, CAB abstracts, and business sources elite. She was helpful and informative. The Agricola website has two different websites with only one being used on campus or with an OSU ID. The other is open access at home.

We adjourned at 5 o’clock and the evening was free for anything we wanted to do. Most of us met at Hideway pizza and had a good time.

Scribe: Cody White
December 7, 2007
Oklahoma State University

Packing Demonstration

The class met at the Wes Watkins Center at 8:00 am for a presentation by Dr. Sue Williams on packing for the international trip. Galynn Beer filled in for Ted Graham as Chairman. Dr. Williams’ presentation opened with a parody song and video of “Jet Plane” by John Denver. Dr. Williams then gave a demonstration on efficient packing and offered some suggestions. Points to note include:

  • We are only allowed one 44 lb bag to check and one 22 lb carry-on.
  • Take an all weather coat with hood & liner
  • Layer
  • Polar fleece
  • Ladies: small lightweight purse
  • Blow-up pillow, eye shades, & ear plugs for the plane
  • Toothpaste, hairbrush, flashlight, snacks, Kleenex, extra pair of socks, etc. for carry-on
  • Jewelry: don’t take anything you are not willing to lose.
  • Hat gloves, scarf
  • Strap to connect smaller piece to roller bag
  • Wear comfortable clothes on the flight
  • Don’t wait until the night before to pack
  • Medication: bring prescriptions and documentation
  • 2 small cans shaving cream versus 1 larger can… remember 3 oz. Limit
  • sewing kit, wet wipes, shout clothing stain pads
  • one suit jacket, 2 dress shirts (men)
  • two sweaters
  • plastic zip vacuum bags
  • 2-3 cotton turtle necks
  • 6 days of undershirts/underwear
  • 2 pair silk long johns
  • one pair dress pants, jeans, kaki pants heavy starch
  • light rain coat
  • long sleeve t-shirt, PJ pants
  • comfortable shoes (two extra pair max)
  • lightweight extra bag for return trip (shopping purchases)
  • therlo socks or woolrich socks
  • extra ziplock bags


Each class member shared 1-2 interesting facts or trivia they had learned from researching our destinations.

Preparing for the International Experience

Four class members comprising group one (Tammi, Dale, Joe, Brenda) gave a power point presentation summarizing geography, topography, population, currency, language barriers, wildlife, security, water use, land use, weather, environmental issues, health issues, and itinerary. The presentation was packed with useful information as we prepare for this trip. PowerPoint slide photocopies were handed out to the class.

International Travel Animal Health Issues and Concerns

Dr. Byron Schick, USDA Veterinarian Services Area Veterinarian for Oklahoma spoke to the class with instructions for proper protocol after interacting with animals in Asia, prior to returning home. He distributed a Foot-and-Mouth Disease pamphlet and a packet with other information on the subject. Primary emphasis of the presentation was:

  • Keep your distance: Avoid contact with livestock and poultry while visiting farms, ranches, and markets.
  • Don’t haul it home: Do not bring back any animals or animal products. This includes feathers, bone, meat products, antler or horn and hides.
  • Keep it clean: When visiting farms or ranches, you should wear footwear than can be cleaned and sanitized. Wear rubber boots or plastic covering over shoes or boots. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and use hand sanitizer when leaving a premise. Wash all cloths with detergent prior to packing on return trip.
  • Stay away: Avoid livestock one week after you return.

Administrative Details and Class Discussion

Dr. Joe Williams wrapped up by passing out acknowledgement lists; Agrotours travel hints, and Top Ten Thoughts for international travel.

Lunch at Taylor’s Dining Room

The class walked across campus to Taylor’s Dining room where we were served a formal meal by the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The session was adjourned until we meet at either the Tulsa or OKC airports for our international trip on Saturday, February 16th, 2008. Both groups will meet at the Los Angles airport to depart for China in the early morning hours of February 17, 2008.