During the 1980s, Carlos Odio was keenly aware that coffee production yielded economic, social and political stability in his home country of Costa Rica. But there was one issue he wanted to address: How can lower-altitude places that can’t grow coffee still flourish? The answer from this Purdue-educated industrial engineer: Grow citrus.
Odio saw citrus “as lowland coffee,” leading him and a partner to establish TicoFrut in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 1987. His success at TicoFrut created significant economic progress for Costa Rican lowland farmers and their families.
During his time as president before stepping aside in 2014, Odio led efforts to build 11 computer centers for providing internet access to communities surrounding the groves. TicoFrut also collaborated with the Nicaraguan government to establish a 17,500-acre orange grove.
Today, Odio serves as a partner and board member for TicoFrut, which is now the third-largest supplier of orange juice to the United States. After achieving great success, he says the creativity of his Purdue engineering education prepared him best to compete and lead in his career.
Investments in Infrastructure
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Elevating Student Experience
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Laboratory infrastructure and equipment, project startup funds, graduate student support
Administrative funds, student travel and networking, unexpected opportunities
Rewarding, retaining, recruiting faculty and promoting diversity in engineering