The world is a large, vast place. This spring I had the unique opportunity to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland for an entire semester. This meant I got to move from small town Illinois halfway across the world to an island in Europe. It was great exploring the unique differences in Europe and learning about the agriculture industry in the European Union. At the University College Dublin, I was able to take some agriculture classes and one was about arable crop production and markets. Learning about the grain industry in Ireland was very interesting to me. Living in Illinois, we specialize in corn and soybeans, with a little bit of wheat and hay. But in Ireland they grow very little maize and soybeans. Rather they focus on hay, barely, Hopps, rye and wheat. A lot of small grains are grown on the island of Ireland. Most of their production isn’t exported but rather goes directly into feeding the livestock on the island or right into the production of beer and liquor. Ireland is famous for Guinness and Irish whiskey, and it is a national staple there. Learning about how different their grain industry is from ours was fascinating. Smaller operations are common where the average farm size is roughly 80 acres. There is not a need for large scale equipment like we have in America. Since returning home early from my experience, I’ve realized that we are extremely lucky to live in Illinois and be a part of Illinois agriculture. If given the chance to return, I would love to explore the grain and feed industry of other countries in Europe.