Cornell’s International Ag Program Earns First USDA Global Award

By WBNG News

Cornell’s International Ag Program Earns First USDA Global Award

October 12, 2012 Updated Oct 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University has been recognized for its exceptional efforts to strengthen U.S. and global agriculture.

According to a news release:

On Thursday, the program received the first-ever Program Improvement through Global Engagement Partnership award from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The award recognizes Cornell’s commitment to global engagement with students, farmers, professionals and governments, for the benefit of agriculture in the U.S. and abroad.

“All of the faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences who contribute to our international programs are truly honored by this award,” said Ronnie Coffman, director of IP-CALS. “It’s a tribute to the culture of our institution and to the people of New York state who have always encouraged us to reach out. We are proud to be a Land Grant university of the world, preparing our students for global engagement.”

Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director, said Cornell’s application clearly demonstrated outcomes, critical and unique impacts, and programs that have long-term, sustained benefits. Study abroad programs through IP-CALS also stand out, he said. Each year, roughly 200 CALS undergraduates spend at least one semester studying abroad.

“When students return from these international experiences, they have a broader outlook, are better prepared for opportunities in the global workplace, and can more effectively rise to many of the challenges here in the United States,” Ramaswamy said.

USDA-NIFA has been granting partnership awards since 2007, but this is the first year they’ve given an award for global engagement.

CALS International Programs was founded after World War II when the federal government matched U.S. universities with countries in need of development and re-building after the devastation of the war. Today, the college’s international ties include partnerships to help Indian universities revise their agriculture curricula, work to develop genetically modified eggplants with better insect resistance, and collaborative efforts to create rust-resistant wheat. IP-CALS also oversees the Cornell Transnational Learning program, which aims to improve global food security by providing institutions in developing countries with current information on agriculture.

“The College Leadership put forward this nomination to NIFA because we are proud of IP-CALS and proud of the efforts of the college as a whole to respond to the needs and demands of our students for experiential learning that better prepares them to participate in the global economy,” said Max Pfeffer, senior associate dean of CALS.  “We are genuinely pleased that NIFA chose to recognize Cornell University and our College of Agriculture & Life Sciences with this first-ever Partnership Award for Global Engagement.”

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