With funding from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, UTIA and Colegio de Postgraduados (ColPos) Campus Cordoba are developing an international exchange between students and faculty. 100,000 Strong is the signature program of the U.S. Department of State’s western hemisphere’s education initiative, and is co-sponsored by Mexican institutions Fundacion Banorte and Fundacion Gruma, to provide students with access to new models of academic exchange and training programs.

Dr. Carlos Trejo-Pech (Agricultural and Resource Economics) leads this project. Other UT faculty and staff involved in this project include Margarita Velandia, Adam Willcox, Sara Mulville. ColPos counterparts include Victorino Morales Ramos and Roselia Servin-Juarez, who had the opportunity to conduct a sabbatical at UTIA in 2019.

The overall project objectives are to: 1. Create a faculty-led trip course with a focus on the economic performance and sustainability of small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises in Mexico. 2. Build university faculty research capacity by cultivating collaborations among faculty of UTIA and a leading agricultural oriented higher education institution in Mexico, ColPos Cordoba.

ColPos visits UT!
Expand content up


The AGNR 491 course took place the second week of January during newly instated UT Winter 2022 term. Students visited ColPos, in the state of Veracruz, where they receive lectures, field and lab training on aspects related to coffee production, processing, and sensory analysis. Students had the opportunity to visit coffee enterprises around Cordoba in order to better understand the opportunities and challenges faced by coffee supply chain participants in this producing region. This experimental learning included interaction with ColPos students and faculty who will later in the year visit UT as part of an international co-mentoring program.

For more information about this upcoming program please contact Carlos Trejo-Pech , Adam Willcox, and/or Sara Mulville.

Ecological house where the External Relations Department and the permaculture project are located in Colpos Cordoba (credit: Roselia Servin-Juarez). 

Ashlyn Anderson, who visited ColPos in January 2022, has been awarded with a Fulbright scholarship from the US–Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange as an English teaching assistant. Congratulations!!


Grace Powell

I really enjoyed meeting all of the different people that are involved in the process of marketing Mexico’s coffee. You can learn about anything in a classroom but actually going out to the farms, cooperatives, and research farms and seeing the people that work in the fields makes the information that they are giving you so much more powerful and meaningful. I was able to get to know the producers on such a personal level and really see the rewarding and struggling times of farming for them. There is so much history and tradition rooted in to farming that no one realizes until you go and meet the people. Go into this knowing that this is going to be a trip that you will remember for a lifetime. And if you don’t know Spanish very well you will by the end of the course.
Grace Powell
Freshman, Animal Science & Family and Consumer Sciences,

Stephen Monroe

I most enjoyed learning about the production of coffee and seeing how it is in Mexico versus in the rest of the world. My advice for students taking the class in the future is enjoy the experience and think about how it is applicable to life after it’s over. This could be changing your coffee habits or seeing how the production of coffee is similar or different to other crops.
Senior, Supply Chain Management

Fleming Mabry

I loved getting to see the origins of where our coffee comes from and what genuinely great coffee is. I have a newfound appreciation for the amount of time it takes to cultivate quality coffee and sell it worldwide by getting to see the faces behind coffee production in México. The entirety of AGNR 491 is a short amount of time compared to the huge amounts of insight gained from the experience. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to experience foreign culture and explore the background of a seemingly simple household commodity– more people should see where their coffee comes from and know its impact on economies, natural resources, and people worldwide.
Fleming Mabry
Sophomore, Modern Foreign Languages

Ashlyn Anderson

The experience of studying abroad in Veracruz allowed me a deep dive into the world of coffee from bean to cup. We learned from highly qualified and distinguished faculty about the agriculture, processing, and business of this specialty crop in the context of a top-producing country. The experience I enjoyed the most was interacting directly with farmers, producers, and researchers in a hands-on environment; hearing about their life stories and what brought them to cultivate coffee. Plus, I enjoyed a taste of all the delicious food, culture, and music that Veracuz has to offer as a very historic and important state in Mexico’s history. I highly recommend this course for any student to enhance their learning of international food and agriculture systems, while simultaneously learning more about our role as consumers and neighbors to Mexico in fostering beneficial relationships. Mexico has a plethora of resources and opportunities for students to continue their studies and work with incredible faculty, so going on this trip can plant those seeds for growth in your field of interest. Not only is the program an immersive and worthwhile experience in the short term, it can help propel your future trajectory to be global citizens and change-agents. 
Ashlyn Anderson
President | Student Basic Needs Coalition
Haslam Scholar | Leadership Knoxville Scholar | College Scholar

Winter Mini-Term Mexico Study Abroad


The May 2021 edition of the UT Agricultural and Resource Economics Department’s Econogram provides more information on pages 12-13.