Four Texas A&M International University business students and an A&M International faculty member traveled to cities across Texas for a three-week seminar course on World Food Distribution.
Dr. Barry Carr, Assistant Professor of Economics at A&M Intranational, said the seminar took students to Houston, College Station, Austin, Kingsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and points in between.
A&M International students who participated in the seminar were Brian Hale, Kerim Jacaman, Sandra Lopez, and Vangie Moreno.
Students and faculty from three other universities in the Texas A&M University System--Prairie View A&M, A&M-College Station, and A&M Kingsville--also participated in the seminar.
"The World Food Distribution seminar was designed to expose business students to a wide variety of food distribution issues including packaging, storage, quality control, and quarantine regulations. To gain firsthand knowledge and to better understand those issues, students toured private businesses and governmental agencies throughout the State," explained Dr. Carr.
The seminar began at Prairie View A&M University, which houses the World Food Distribution Training Center of Excellence. A&M International, along with A&M University-College Station, A&M University-Kingsville, Prairie View A&M, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Agriculture, is a partner in the Center.
The Center offers certification in World Food Distribution for business, agricultural economics or agribusiness undergraduate or graduate students from A&M International or the other participating universities.
Students enrolled in the certification program must complete all credit hours required for their degree plus 24 credit hours including the World Food Distribution seminar course and an internship program. The coursework may be completed at any participating university, including A&M International.
The four A&M International students who attended the seminar will be the first in the University's history to graduate with this certification.
Seminar highlights from Houston include tours of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Houston Ship Channel, the Uncle Benšs processing plant, and the Krogeršs Distribution Center.
Students also travelled to Brenham, Texas for a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery where students learned how the ice cream company has developed a unique distribution system to control product quality.
In Austin students toured the Texas Department of Agriculture then accompanied Weights and Measures inspectors to a grocery store for a package sampling and net content verification.
Seminar highlights from Kingsville and Corpus Christi included a tour of the King Ranch, Conner Museum, and North Atlantic Seafood Distribution.
Seminar activities in Laredo included tours of Empacadora GAB, a frozen food processor; US Cold Storage; APHIS Inspection Station; Texas Department of Agriculture Livestock Quarantine Lot; H-E-B Mercado Grande; Flores Castano Imports; and La India Packing Company.
Seminar activities were scheduled through a cooperative effort of the Texas Department of Agriculture, A&M International, and the three other participating universities.
For additional information on the World Food Distribution certification, contact the Texas A&M International University College of Business Administration at 326-2480. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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