I just arrived home from Chile, where I had the opportunity to travel with VT administrators and other doctoral students to explore higher education in South America. During the trip, I had the opportunity to go to the Santa Rosa Experimental Research Station. The station is a part of the Universidad Austral de Chile’s agricultural research programs. This is similar to US land-grant schools, as they also have agricultural research stations where professors and extension agents can conduct research and learn about advances in crop production.
Most of the funding for UACh’s research is derived from the government. There is little (but some) private funding in Chile, which is an interesting contrast from US land-grants, where some professors can run their entire research programs on private funds. In talking with professors, there were mixed feelings about private funding, but most (if not all) agreed that the government could and should increase monies allocated to university research.
Chile has major export markets for berries and the southern region of Chile is also responsible for approximately 70% of the country’s milk production.
Below are some pictures from the research station, including some pictures from the facilities and surrounding fields and greenhouses.
The first picture is the blueberry orchard for research purposes. Their biggest problem… hungry students. I think all blueberry researchers rant about that.