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Arizona farmer to embark on journey to Brazil

(Terisha Driggs Photo)

A young farmer is part of a select group traveling to Brazil to learn about the country’s agricultural industry.

Terisha Driggs, who owns a farm in St. David, Arizona and lives in Gilbert will represent the Arizona Farm Bureau on the journey. She is one of 10 young farmers across the United States selected to participate.

As part of the trip, Driggs and the other farmers will visit Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They will make farm visits and learn about the challenges facing Brazil’s agriculture industry.

Driggs said one of those challenges is infrastructure. She said some Brazilian farmers have their crops transported hundreds of miles on dirt roads just to get their products to market.

“They don’t have the infrastructure we have,” Driggs said. “If you have a dirt road you’re driving down, if the bridge is out, it could take days for that to repair.”

But Driggs said farmers in the country are using new agricultural technology, much of it the same used by farmers in the United States.

“You’ve got farmers that are embracing a lot of new technologies in terms of GPS (and) precise application of pesticides and other chemicals on their farms and crops,” Driggs said.

Driggs said she is looking forward to exchanging ideas with government officials and Brazilian farmers. The group will visit with the SRB (Rural Brazilian Society) and Embrapa, Brazil’s ministry of agriculture. One of the concerns in recent weeks in Brazil has been the outbreak of Zika virus, which has decreased tourism to the country.

“It’s certainly something in the back of my mind, but I wouldn’t want it to impact my opportunity to learn something and to really kind of see agriculture on a large global scale,” Driggs said.

To receive updates on Driggs week-long journey to Brazil, follow her on Twitter @tddriggs.

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