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Listen to a faculty-student team talk about organic farming in Japan

By Trent Chaffe '09
September 29, 2008

Kris MacPherson, associate professor of Asian studies, moves organic waste at a Japanese farm.
St. Olaf Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Librarian Kris MacPherson and students Kate Huber '09, Alex Robinson '09 and Robert Smith '10 spent the month of August in Japan checking out internship opportunities for St. Olaf students who want to study Asian culture, Environmental Studies and sustainable agriculture. As part of their experience, which was made possible by a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, the study travelers spent 10 days as working visitors at the Asian Rural Institute, a training center for rural community development in central Japan. Afterwards, they volunteered on an organic farm on the northern island of Hokkaido.

The group recently spoke with Trent Chaffee '09 about their experience. Click here to listen.

Special thanks to St. Olaf Broadcast Media for their assistance preparing this story.

St. Olaf seniors Kate Huber and Alex Robinson work a rice paddy.

Junior Robert Smith digs up potatoes.

Mealtimes at the farm in Shakotan, on the island of Hokkaido, gave the four participants an opportunity to talk about agricultural issues with their hosts.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or