A 21-year tradition of east meeting west at Hartnell College continues August 21-28 when 15 students and two faculty members from Miyagi Agricultural College in Japan come to Hartnell to study the agriculture of the Salinas Valley.
"The visit is part of a sister-college relationship between Hartnell and Miyagi," said Cicely McCreight, executive director of the Hartnell College Foundation, sponsor of the visit. "We are most honored to be hosting the Miyagi students again this year," she said.
During the students' visit, Miyagi President Yoshio Ehara also will come to Salinas as part of Hartnell's scholar-in-residence program. He will deliver an address about the importance of agricultural exchanges between Japan and the United States at 1:30 p.m. Friday, August 20, in the Performing Arts Building, room 125. The talk is free and open to the public.
Miyagi's president since 2001, Ehara is considered an expert on plant viruses. He graduated from the Graduate School of Agriculture at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, in 1966 when he later taught agriculture. Ehara also studied in the United States at Washington State University.
During their stay, the Miyagi students will take several field trips to study vegetable crops as well as visit Sakata Seed, Inc., and the Cal Florida Plant Corp. in Salinas. Miyagi instructors Kazuhiro Matsumori, professor of agricultural machinery, and Naoki Konya, professor of agricultural economics, will accompany the students to Hartnell.
The students also will visit several local sites, including the National Steinbeck Center and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The Japanese visitors will be housed with local families, according to program coordinator Joanne Venegas. "Integration into an American family," says Venegas, "is an important part of the students' time spent in Salinas. It also is rewarding for the local families to have students from another culture in their homes."
Over the years, many Hartnell students also have visit the Miyagi campus, located near Sendai, Japan. For example, in 2000, six students and one instructor in Hartnell's Boronda International Program visited Miyagi.
For more information on the Miyagi visit, call Joanne Venegas at (831) 755-6890.