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CAFES Fosters International Partnerships
By Jenny Bjelland
UW-RF News Bureau
DEC. 3, 2004--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Agriculture,
Food and Environmental Sciences faculty have been involved in numerous
training programs and information exchanges this year with colleagues
from around the world.
Following a two-week trip of several CAFES faculty to Nicaragua this past
summer, Nicaraguan Carlos Ruiz traveled to UW-RF for a two-month stay.
Ruiz is the vice dean of the animal science faculty at the Universidad
Nacional Agraria, an agricultural university with about 4,000 students
in Managua, Nicaragua. He specializes in forage agronomy.
UW-RF Professors Dennis Cooper and Lou Grueb were two of the CAFES faculty
members who visited Nicaragua and then played host to Ruiz. According
to Cooper, the purpose of the exchange was to share ideas between the
two institutes, UNA and CAFES, because they have a common interest in
forage production, dairy production and beef production.
Grueb said they scheduled activities that fit in with Ruiz's interests,
research, and teaching work. They toured a variety of farms that utilize
grazing and attended a grazing conference in La Crosse, Wis. A trip at
the end of September to the 2004 Farm Technology Days in Wisconsin's Chippewa
County concluded Ruiz's visit.
The faculty exchange program between UW-RF and UNA was funded by a grant
received from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
In September, nine Albanians also made the trip to UW-RF for a two-week
visit. The Albanians' interests were split between dairy product and meat
CAFES' food science faculty Ranee May and Steve Watters hosted the group,
for what May called a "train-the-trainers" session. May and
Watters had been contracted through Land O'Lakes International to provide
training to the Albanians on food safety, formulations, and production
methods, so, in turn, the individuals could train other Albanians within
The Albanians sharpened their skills through a series of discussions,
hands-on labs and tours. They visited a variety of production facilities
throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota including Louie's Finer Meats, Inc.,
a Jenni-O Turkey plant, and the Land O'Lakes plant in Pine Island, Minn.
Guests from Serbia-Montenegro arrived at UW-RF at the end of September
to wrap up the third and final portion of a two-year U.S. Department of
The project began when Cooper and Dennis Cosgrove, a UW-RF plant and
earth science professor, traveled to Serbia-Montenegro to learn about
the country's agricultural methods and needs. A few months later, Cooper
and Cosgrove returned to Serbia-Montenegro and presented seminars to producers
and professionals in research institutes.
The project concluded after seven residents of Serbia-Montenegro traveled
to UW-RF for a two-week visit. According to Cooper, the trip gave the
young agriculturalists from the developing countries good exposure to
American people and American life. They also experienced agriculture in
the United States by visiting a variety of farms and attending World Dairy
A visit from four Romanians wrapped up yet another USDA project similar
to that with Serbia-Montenegro. However, this was the second group from
the Romanian agriculturalists to travel to UW-RF. The four Romanians were
part of the Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellows
Program, which works to educate scientists in developing countries by
teaming them with professionals in the United States that share similar
expertise areas. CAFES Professors Steve Kelm, Gary Onan, Larry Baumann
and Tom Goerke each served as a mentor to a Romanian during the their
CAFES international activities are an opportunity that faculty members
initiate if they want to be involved in international development, according
to Stephen Ridley, dean of CAFES.
The involvement of faculty in international activities also benefits the
students at UW-RF. "The involvement has brought a broader vision
of the world into the classroom," says Cosgrove.
Faculty learn a lot as well. According to Cooper, the knowledge he has
gained visiting other counties provides more insight into the agriculture
industry within the United States.
Photo caption: Dr. Nebojsa Jovanovic of Serbia-Montenegro visits a western
Wisconsin dairy farm while on an agricultural exchange trip to UW-River
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:18 Central Daylight Time