Indonesia looks nothing like Kentucky.
While the Commonwealth yields tobacco, corn and soybeans, the Southeast Asian islands grow rice, pineapples and coffee. But the obstacles the two regions face are eminently similar: namely, economic and agricultural underdevelopment. Sixty percent of the poorest Indonesians live on small farms. Indonesian farmers use cows to plow their rice paddies. They plant their pineapples and harvest coffee beans by hand.
Experience confronting underdevelopment and limited resources in Eastern Kentucky underscored the University of Kentucky's capacity to generate real, substantive progress in Indonesia — progress that has spanned more than 50 years.