Tobie Blanchard, Bernard, Sarah Elizabeth | 11/14/2018 7:26:15 PM
(11/14/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter hosted an agricultural delegation from the Czech Republic earlier this month to see how the LSU AgCenter brings value to the state of Louisiana.
Visitors included two representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, two scientists from the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information and one professor from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague.
Pavel Sekáč, deputy minister of agriculture, sees potential for collaboration between the AgCenter and the public sector of the Czech Republic.
“Despite our many differences, the Czech Republic and the state of Louisiana have common interests in education, agriculture and forestry, and there is immense opportunity in our cooperation,” Sekáč said.
The delegation participated in presentations and discussions on communications, youth engagement, extension, technology transfer and public-private partnership.
The group visited A. Wilbert’s Sons LLC, a land management company, to highlight the public-private partnership that the AgCenter uses to benefit Louisiana citizens.
Klein Kirby, A. Wilbert’s Sons president, and his team showed the Czech delegation the direct ways the AgCenter, its researchers and its extension network disseminate research-based information to industry professionals. The discussion also included the way industry gives back to the AgCenter and LSU through scholarships, professorships and student internship opportunities.
“Working with the university, the LSU AgCenter, and getting involved globally have had such great results in our business and businesses across the state of Louisiana,” Kirby said.
The visitors also met with the AgCenter Food Incubator team and agricultural economists. Discussions focused on the exchange of information and resources among the AgCenter, private companies and Louisiana citizens.
The Czech delegation visited the AgCenter Sugar Research Station where they saw sugarcane being harvested.
This visit came as a new phase of a five-year cooperation between LSU and the LSU AgCenter and the public university and government sectors in the Czech Republic.
The AgCenter’s strategic partnership with institutions like Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic, has ushered in a dozen visiting scholars and more than 20 joint faculty projects and earned the AgCenter multiple international awards for excellence in global engagement.
Mendel has hosted international internships and summer school for six LSU College of Agriculture students during that time and has hosted two students for semester- or year-long study-abroad experience.
“Strong international relationships are essential for universities as they allow our researchers to understand and implement the world best technologies, practices and research data and through our extensions system bring those to local farmers,” said Ivana Tregenza, LSU AgCenter Global Network associate director.
Tregenza said the discussions in Baton Rouge will generate joint projects and initiatives in the Czech Republic and further expand the global impact of the LSU AgCenter.
An agricultural delegation from the Czech Republic tours the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden during a visit with LSU AgCenter administrators and faculty. Picture are Ivana Tregenza, LSU AgCenter Global Network associate director; Jeff Kuehny, resident director of Botanic Gardens at Burden; František Kumhála, head of the Department of Agricultural Machines at the Czech University of Life Sciences; Štěpán Kala, director of the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information; Klára Novotná, operational analysis with the IAEI; and Pavel Sekáč, deputy minister of agriculture. Photo by John Russin/LSU AgCenter