UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A small group of students and faculty from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences visited Spain over spring break to explore the country's poultry industry and culture.
The week-long trip offered a firsthand look at the differences between the U.S. and European poultry business. Participants toured private poultry facilities and government research installations where they learned about quality control, animal welfare and organic-vs.-conventional production issues.
Professor Jaime Garcia Prudencio, who teaches three levels of Spanish to students in the college, was a chaperone and interpreter for the visit, organized around the International Poultry Industry course. He noted that Spanish is important to agriculture because so many producers speak the language around the world.
"The students were immersed in the Spanish culture and how that culture affects customer demands in the poultry business," he said. "In contrast with the U.S., Spaniards have specific demands for particular bird breeds and sizes. On the business end, every region in Spain has an original label for their product."
Similar to the locally grown food ethos in the United States, these labels gain more publicity in areas of Spain and earn a certain amount of trust from consumers.