Alexis Agard: Summer in Slovakia
Alexis Agard has more than a few stamps in her passport. She spent the past spring
break in Nicaragua with other students in the LSU College of
Alexis Agard, Jaroslav Bazik, Tatiana Pleváková and Patrícia Martišová visit the Arborétum
Mlyňany in Tesárske Mlyňany, Slovakia. Agard, a senior in the LSU College of Agriculture,
spent part of summer in Slovakia, where she participated in a scientific conference
and conducted research on consumer preferences. While there, she spent time with students
from Slovakia who visited LSU in AprilPhoto provided by Alexis Agard
Agriculture and has traveled in Western Europe with her family. But she says spending
part of her summer in Slovakia was a unique experience.
“It was something different. I had never been to that region of Europe before,” Agard
Agard, a senior studying agricultural business, attended the International Scientific
Days Conference at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slovakia, and gathered
data for a research project.
The conference was held May 19 and 20 and tackled topics such as food security, agriculture
policy and rural development.
“Participating in the conference was a great experience. I was able to network and
meet a lot of political figures in the area,” Agard said.
The conference was put on in part by the Slovak University of Agriculture Faculty
of Economics and Management. Agard attended a reception hosted by the faculty dean,
“There was cultural folk dancing and platters of traditional foods – lots of meat,
a whole roasted pig, sausages and cabbage. It was amazing,” Agard said.
She also took an excursion to a sheep farm with a group from the conference.
Agard spent the rest of her time in Slovakia working on her research project and visiting
towns and cities in the area.
Her project is looking at the consumption of animal products in the region.
“There is a greater demand for beef now in Slovakia than in the past, and production
can’t keep up with demand,” she said.
Agard plans to present her findings at a conference in September.
Earlier this year, students from the Slovak University of Agriculture visited LSU
as part of a collaboration between the two universities. Agard said some of the students
she met at LSU showed her around Slovakia, and she visited one of the student’s family’s
Agard said Slovakia is a growing country, and more LSU students could benefit from
studying or living there.
“There is a lot of opportunity in that region for young students like us who want
to go abroad and share our agriculture knowledge,” she said.
Agard found the people in Slovakia friendly and open to her. She said Slovak students
were eager to speak English with her and were helpful. She also noted that there is
not a lot of diversity in the country.
“I was very exotic-looking, and people did find me interesting,” Agard said.