Friday, June 17, 2016

Denmark, a new Pork Queen?

Welcome from the Danhostel living room!

It's 2:02 AM here, and after falling quickly asleep around 10PM, I am predictably restless as my internal clock thinks it is time to wake up.  I'll take the chance to blog about our day yesterday before I try to get back to sleep.

If you've traveled to Europe before, you know that the first "day" is really two days condensed into one 40-42 hour period.  We left JFK around 930 PM Central time, and landed in Copenhagen 13.5 "hours" later, 7.5 of it being actual flight time with 6 hours of time change.

After getting our bags, we made our way out of the airport quite easily and to our first meeting with Mr. Jan Lauritsen, head of the Danish Food Cluster.

Meeting with Jan was fascinating.  He explained how his group worked with private farmers, cooperatives of farmers, consumers, industry, the government, and the EU.  In many ways his organization represents many of the functions of the Econ department at a research University.  Research, Extension, and outreach are all part of their day to day functions.

Dr. Van der Sluis asked the last question during our 90 minute session, asking Jan if there was some advice he could give to young economists, specifically us.  His response was very good, he asked that we always keep in mind other points of view and ways of doing business.  His entire presentation embodied this sentiment, and is one many policy makers and Bureaucrats in the United States could benefit from trying.  Brexit, The EU in general, Russia, and trade policy under a new US Republican President would all be things cooperation would help.

After leaving our meeting we headed to our accommodations for the night, the Danhostel hotel.  Careful not to get too comfortable, we spent an hour getting settled into our rooms before we headed out for the evening.

After a quick bus ride and walking around downtown Copenhagen, we settled on a traditional Danish restaurant.  We quickly discovered that Danish cuisine is not much different than what many of us grew up eating in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.  The restaurant was fun and delicious, albeit a bit pricey.

During dinner, we talked about how we knew Denmark was a big Pork exporter, but had no idea how extensive it was, and how pervasive pork was on all the menus.

After dinner we broke up and headed home.  One observation I was quick to point out to students was the bike culture in Copenhagen, where the bikes clearly rule the road.  Perhaps I haven't been so crazy riding my bike to Scobey each day for the past five years!

Thanks for reading.  Look forward to student posts tomorrow.


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