Ag Illustrated is a quarterly publication of the Auburn University College of Agriculture.

Editors/Writers
Katie Jackson
Leigh Hinton
Jamie Creamer

Designer/Illustrator

Teresa Rodriguez

3 Comer Hall
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
36849-5405

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Ag International

The following is information about CoAg international programs for students, faculty, alumni and the public. For more information about CoAg's international efforts, contact Richard Guthrie, CoAg associate dean, Phone: 334-844-3211 guthrrl@auburn.edu.

Bringing the Experience Home

The CoAg International Scholars Program, which features monthly seminars delivered by faculty, staff and students who have experienced international travel, began in January 2003 and is sponsored by the E. T. and Vam York Endowment for Excellence in Agriculture. This endowment is used to encourage CoAg and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station personnel and graduate students to broaden their research, training and outreach activities globally.

The seminar is held the last Friday of each month usually from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Ag Hill and thus far has featured a wide range of presentations involving research, training and outreach in India, Chile, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica. Presenters describe both their technical work and experience in these countries and their cultural and social experiences.

For more information on the seminars, contact Billy Earl, International Programs business assistant, at 334-844-9210 or at earlbi@auburn.edu, or visit the Web site at http://www.ag.auburn.edu/international/scholarships/gradisp1.pdf.


Study Tours Take Alabamians Around the Globe

There's nothing like a trip overseas to help illuminate the "big" picture, and that's exactly the goal of the CoAg Office of International Agriculture (OIA).

OIA has for several years sponsored study tours abroad to such countries as Hungary, Germany, Poland, China, Argentina and Brazil. The tours offer participants a broader agricultural perspective and allow them to exchange information and establish professional linkages with other countries. Participants are required to cover their own costs for the tours.

The most recent OIA trip was also OIA's first trip to South Africa. Participating in the 16-day journey were eight CoAg faculty and staff members–including AU agronomy and soils professor and expert tour guide David Bransby, who immigrated from South Africa to Auburn in 1987–and five guests.

Charlie Mitchell, a CoAg professor of agronomy and soils who participated in the trip, kept a journal of the experience which will soon be available online at the OIA Web site (http://www.ag.auburn.edu/international/index.htm).

The OIA will be arranging future study tours in 2004. For information on those tours, including a planned May 2004 return to South Africa, contact the OIA at 334-844-3205.

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Foreign Farmers, Foresters Tour Alabama

As part of the CoAg international effort, folks from several foreign countries are getting to know Alabama.

Earlier this summer, for example, five foresters with the India Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry conducted a study tour of Alabama's forest industry with the help of George Young, coordinator of International Programs for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Young arranged the visiting foresters' tour with financial support of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. He worked with Extension forester Ken McNabb, Alex Boldog of the U.S. Forest Service and two county Extension coordinators–Jimmy Smitherman in Bullock County and Buck Farrior in Escambia County–to teach the visitors about Alabama's forest industry. The delegation interacted with local foresters throughout the state and also met with representatives of the Alabama Forestry Commission. In addition, they visited the AU Solon Dixon Forestry Center in Covington County, where student foresters receive a portion of their education.

The delegation also learned about Alabama's flora and fauna as they toured the Conecuh National Forest. There they observed management systems to protect unique plants, such as sun dew and pitcher plants, and also visited a red cockaded woodpecker colony and discussed the management practices utilized for the increase in population of this endangered species.

Young notes that this is just one of many examples of visiting groups that he and other faculty host from many countries around the world. The visitors come from Japan, Nigeria, China, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Vietnam, Turkmenistan, Russia, Moldova, Argentina, and Brazil, to name a few countries of origin.

For more information about these visits, contact Young at 334-844-3513 or at younggj@auburn.edu, or visit the Web site at www.ag.auburn.edu/dept/aec/faculty/gyoung.html.


Stallworth's Generosity Provides Tickets to Ride

The care and concern of loyal alumnus Bill Stallworth is making it possible for the College of Agriculture to provide financial assistance for students to have an international experience as a part of their academic program.

The AU International Endowment was established in 2000 to help defray a portion of the expenses that a student might incur pursuing an educational experience abroad.

To receive funding from the AU International Endowment, students must develop a proposed program of study that explains, in detail, how the experience fits within their overall curriculum. The student must also submit a complete budget for the experience and show how financial assistance from the endowment will be utilized. Two faculty recommendations also are required.

To date, four students have been funded by the program and the results have been remarkable.

Christina van Santen of Auburn, Ala., a recent CoAg graduate in agronomy and soils and biosystems engineering, furthered her agronomy and soils studies at Humboldt University in Germany. In addition, she gained "real world" work experience at a German agricultural cooperative.

Caden Buskist of Auburn, a CoAg horticulture major, spent a full year in New Zealand at Christchurch Institute of Technology (CIT). While there he earned a certificate in horticultural science from the CIT. He has returned to Auburn to finish his degree here.

Chris Williams of Cleveland, Ala., a recent CoAg graduate in animal sciences, studied in China and learned more about the progress being made by China's developing regions. While there, he taught English at a Chinese university. He plans to spend the next year in China.

Sara Johnson of Virginia, a CoAg student majoring in biosystems engineering, has just returned from Morocco, where she also learned about the problems of impoverished and developing economies.

Webb Holmes of Marion, Ala., another recent CoAg animal sciences graduate, went south in August to spend six months as an intern on a farm near Ponta Grossa, Parana State in Brazil.

The College hopes to fund a significant number of students in the future so that they might receive the great value of an international experience. Anyone interested in helping build this endowment should call 334-844-2345.

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International Program in Aquatic Sciences Spanning the World

The International Center for Aquaculture and Aquatic Environments (ICAAE), a CoAg unit historically associated with Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, has long been a major source of international interaction for Auburn University.

The International Center for Aquaculture was created in 1970 in response to requests from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide technical and socio-economic assistance to developing countries in aquaculture, inland fisheries and living aquatic resources management. In 1991, the Center's name was changed to International Center for Aquaculture and Aquatic Environments to more accurately reflect the broad scope of its program. Since its creation the ICAAE has been awarded more than $30 million in contracts and grants.

The mission of the ICAAE is to advance knowledge of aquatic and environmental resources through research and education, participate in activities to protect and conserve aquatic and environmental resources, and work to enhance quality of life for people who depend upon aquatic and environmental resources for their livelihood and well-being.

The Center seeks to accomplish its mission by: providing technical assistance in components of watershed management, including water harvesting, water quality, aquaculture, soil conservation, conservation farming practices, and other relevant disciplines; supporting research on management of watersheds and aquatic resources; conducting formal and informal training in aquatic resources subjects; and enhancing faculty and staff capacity and student experience by supporting participation in international activities.

Current activities include the Alabama Water Watch Program; water resource management and education projects in the Philippines, Ecuador, Brazil and Thailand; a pond dynamics/aquaculture collaborative research support program; and a distance education program in South Africa.

For more information about ICAAE, visit the Web site http://www.ag.auburn.edu/icaae/ or contact its director, Bryan Duncan, at 334-844-9201, or at duncabl@auburn.edu.


Associate Dean Visits European Theater

Richard Guthrie, CoAg associate dean who directs the Office for International Agriculture, recently traveled overseas to Romania, Germany and Belgium with the Alabama National Guard and Reserves.

The trip is an annual activity of the Alabama National Guard and Reserves and is called Civic Leader European Theater Orientation. Each year a group of legislators, business people and other civic and government leaders from throughout Alabama are invited on the trip to help establish liaisons and partner with emerging countries. Alabama is a partner with Romania in the Partners for Peace program, which is a NATO activity that partners emerging countries that are candidates for NATO membership with Western countries, particularly the United States.

Guthrie had participated in the trip three years ago as a representative of Alabama's higher-education sector. While on that trip, Guthrie managed to negotiate two forestry projects between Romania and AU. He was invited back again this year as a representative for agricultural and forestry development because the U.S. Ambassador to Romania requested the presence of someone associated with these Auburn projects.

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