The UDLA Farm is located in the Ecuadorian Andes on the hillsides around the Pichincha volcano in Nono parish, 22 kilometers from Quito. The average temperature ranges from 14°C to 16°C (57°F to 60°F), and it lies almost 9,200 feet above sea level.
The farm covers 44.6 hectares (110 acres) of agricultural production, product processing, academic field activities, research and community service projects. There is a main house with three dorm rooms, bathrooms, kitchen and dining room, a BBQ and recreational area, five livestock sheds, a stable and milking area, pastures, a 6000-meter greenhouse, meteorological station and caretaker houses.
The UDLA Farm is relatively new and is in the process of growing and developing agricultural, academic and Nono community service projects for UDLA’s different degree programs.
About the course
The course “Agricultural management and biodiversity” at the UDLA Farm will cover: livestock production, cattle management, farming and water source management and conservation.
The course’s objective is to teach international students about the practice of agriculture in the highlands of Ecuador and share the farm’s daily management practices with them.
Livestock farming is the most important activity for Nono parish, and agriculture is another of the area’s main economic activities. The area is characterized by ecological conditions typical for high altitudes and microclimates, which necessitate a varied approach to production.
Nono has both mountain and jungle vegetation, which contains forest that protects a rich biodiversity of Andean forest flora (Polylepis or “paper tree,” guanto, romerillo, fucunero, pucachasa, orchids) and fauna (27 species of hummingbirds, spectacled bears, guans, mountain goats, foxes, doves and trout).
Despite the biological importance water to life, it’s poorly managed around the world. This course will focus on water use and management of water sources, which is fundamental for biodiversity conservation, agricultural and livestock production and life.
Schedule and Field Trips
SEMINARS and WORKSHOPS:
- Livestock production with small species
- Become familiar with the different production modules for the small species livestock raised on the farm. Learn about management techniques, nutrition, genetics, reproduction and animal welfare. Students will be able to observe and participate in the daily tasks involved in these activities.
- Egg-laying chickens
- Guinea pigs
- Bovine, ovine and porcine management
- Learn about the productions systems, animal physiology, nutrition and breeding of cows, sheep and pigs.
- Students will be able to differentiate between production methods and their efficiency in the following production systems: pasture, silvopasture and agro-silvo-pasture.
- Students will also participate in daily tasks.
- Farming and post-harvest
- Covers farming preparation, cultural harvesting work, post-harvest and packaging of fruits and vegetables.
- Starts with harvesting parameters that determine conservation of raw materials during post-harvest, taking into account the product, quality, handling, storage and main causes of deterioration.
- Students will participate in sowing, harvest and cleaning of each crop.
- Food product processing
- Familiarize yourself with methods for processing food products to improve their quality, increase production and decrease waste.
- Learn about different projects for small-scale food processing that can be applied using local tools, for example: dairy products and derivatives from fruits and vegetables
- Water source management and climate change
- Covers water source management to avoid deforestation, soil degradation, water contamination and landsides
- Each problem is analyzed, weighing the causes and consequences, to propose corrective actions that lead to significant changes in both production and conservation of natural resources
- Students will learn about conservation projects and participate in the small-scale reforestation of native species at the UDLA Farm.
Costs and Dates
Program dates: June 5-12
Application deadline: April 15
International students US$750*
* $700 (in case of an early bird inscription till March 15 or for a group of 12 students)
Local students US $560
UDLA students US $520
Who can participate?
- The course is designed for any student who is interested in learning about agricultural and livestock management, water management, biodiversity and environmental conservation.
- An ability to communicate in English is required.
The Universidad de las Américas is Ecuador’s largest private university. It was founded in 1994 and is located in Quito, the country’s capital. It offers over 40 different degree programs and four campuses in the city and a research farm two hours outside of the city students can visit.
With more than 16,000 students and 1,000 professors, each program participant has the opportunity to be surrounded by university life and Ecuadorian culture.