As American agriculture becomes increasingly interdependent with foreign agriculture and markets it is important for tomorrow’s leaders to have knowledge of international agriculture and customs. The purpose of this study was to determine the international knowledge and attitudes of FFA members participating in the Costa Rican Travel Seminar. This study was a descriptive survey research design. The population for the study was all FFA members participating in the 1998 and 1999 Costa Rican Travel Seminars through the National FFA Organization.
The FFA members who participated in the Costa Rican Travel Seminar had an average knowledge of Costa Rican society, culture and agriculture. They did have positive attitudes towards international travel and learning about international agriculture. At the same time, they were not worried about their safety, food, water, or communications problems while traveling. While participants thought learning about international agriculture was important, they had received little or no instruction about international agriculture as part of their secondary agriculture program. Efforts should be made to increase the amount of international agriculture topics covered in secondary and postsecondary agriculture programs. Students participating in international agriculture study tours should receive instruction on the society, culture, and agriculture of the country being visited before the tour begins. Additional instructional time should be included during the tour and debriefing offered at the conclusion.
Keywords: Study-abroad, International (Travel, Attitudes, Knowledge, and Agriculture), Youth Development