Jae Sang Cho, a reporter for the Korea Farmers and Fishermen’s Weekley News, took time from his tour of Pike Pioneer Museum Friday to bone up on the SEC football news found in The Messenger. Since Aub

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 1999

Korean farmers sample

South Alabama


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Features Editor

Published Oct. 31, 1999

Korean farmers got a chance to learn about American agriculture first hand when they toured several Alabama farms last week as guest of the Alabama Farmers Federation.

The tours were part of a new exchange program being developed between the Chung-buk Provincial Federation of the Korean Advanced Farmers and the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Five Korean farmers, including Bang Hyung Cho, president of the Korean federation, spent five days visiting Alabama farms.

According to Debra Davis, director of ALFA county communications, their stops included visits to poultry, catfish, pork and beef cattle operations. The group hosted by the Alfa Farmers Federation Commodity Department, toured a cotton field, a pine plantation, the E.V. Smith Research Center in Shorter, Priester’s Pecan Co. in Fort Deposit and the Pike Pioneer Museum in Troy.

"Alabama Farmers has hosted international exchange groups from Hungry, Germany, Japan and China but this is the first tour group from Korea," Davis said. "They were interested in all aspects of Alabama life. They wanted to see our grocery stores and they were very interested to see people driving Hyundai cars."

Davis said the Korean farmers were very impressed with Pike Pioneer Museum and found that farming methods and farm-life implements were much the same in "old" America as they were in their country.

"They knew what a plow was and a wood stove," Davis said, laughing.

At the museum, the group toured the museum and the out-buildings.

"They were fascinated by the log cabins and the barn," Davis said. "They had many questions about them and seemed to really be interested in how they were constructed."

They also enjoyed the informative tour conducted by Curren Farmer, the tea cakes baked by Alma Bodiford and the foot-stomping, hand clapping music of Calvin Bodiford and Wayne Nicholson.

"They really had a great time everywhere they went," Davis said. "The museum was especially enjoyable because they got to interact with people in a not-so-business-like atmosphere."

As in farming in years past, farming today in Korea is not much different from the way it is here in the South except for the size of the farm.

"While our farms are hundreds of acres their farms are from one to five acres. On that small acreage, they grow enough to feed their families and to sell commercially," Davis said. "Korean farming is very intense and their main crop is rice. But one thing we learned, Korean farmers are no different from our own in their love of the land and their commitment and dedication to farming."

The Korean farmers have invited a group of Alabama farmers to visit their country this spring and Alabama Farmers are seriously considering sending a group.