Tobie Blanchard | 7/20/2018 7:28:07 PM
(07/20/18) PRAGUE — The LSU AgCenter signed a Declaration of Intent with the Czech Republic Ministry of Agriculture in Prague on July 19.
Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture and dean of the LSU College of Agriculture, and Miroslav Toman, Czech minister of agriculture, signed the agreement, which states that the AgCenter and the ministry will facilitate academic and research collaboration in the field of agriculture.
Pavel Sekáč, deputy minister, and Danuše Nerudová, rector of Mendel University, attended the signing.
The AgCenter has close ties with Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic. The two institutions have participated in more than 180 collaborations, including faculty and student exchanges, research partnerships and technology transfer joint agreements.
“It’s not just signing the document that is important. It’s the results,” Richardson said. “We want to create results that we can measure. Results that benefit our students, our faculty and our stakeholders.”
While in the Czech Republic, Richardson and a delegation from the AgCenter also visited the Mendel University campus in Lednice, where they met with the Mendel Faculty of Horticulture, and the main campus in Brno and visited with the Faculty of AgriSciences.
The group toured the university’s meat processing facility, bakery, brewery, viticulture program and orchards and saw its plant tissue culture program.
“There are many similarities between the LSU AgCenter and Mendel. We also face many of the same challenges,” Richardson said. “Strengthening our relationship can strengthen our institutions.”
Richardson and Nerudová discussed the possibility of hosting annual global food symposiums that would focus on food innovation, food security and food safety.
The first symposium would be held at Mendel in 2019 in conjunction with the university’s 100th anniversary.
Three LSU College of Agriculture graduate students are also at Mendel this summer participating in the International GEOREGNET Summer School. The two-week program focuses on the social, economic and environmental aspects of regional development in central Europe.
“This has been a really rich and rewarding experience,” said Tiffany Williams, a graduate student in agriculture education and evaluation. “I am interested in working in international development, and this will give me some experience and knowledge to apply in the future.”
The AgCenter group also visited the U.S. Embassy in Prague and discussed potential private-public partnerships in the Czech Republic.
Pavel Sekáč, Czech Republic Ministry of Agriculture deputy minister, and Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture and dean of the LSU College of Agriculture, hold a Declaration of Intent between the AgCenter and the Czech Ministry in Prague on July 19. The declaration aims to facilitate academic and research collaboration in the field of agriculture between the two organizations. Photo by Tobie Blanchard/LSU AgCenter
A delegation of staff and faculty from the LSU AgCenter tours an orchard on the Lednice campus of Mendel University in the Czech Republic. The visit was made to strengthen relationships between the AgCenter and Mendel. Photo by Tobie Blanchard/LSU AgCenter