(03/07/22) BATON ROUGE, La. — For the second year in a row, the LSU AgCenter partnered with a university in the Czech Republic to host a symposium focused on food science, industry trends and issues facing farmers, processors and consumers.
The event was held virtually Feb. 28 to March 4.
The AgCenter has worked with Mendel University, located in the Czech city of Brno, since 2014. Over the past several years, the two institutions have organized student exchanges and internships. Faculty have cooperated on teaching, research, publications and even a joint patent.
Luke Laborde, interim LSU vice president for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture, said more than 450 people registered for the food symposium last year. He was pleased that interest in the event was equally strong for this year’s edition.
“These virtual food symposiums are prime examples of working with technology to bring researchers, faculty and students together to exchange science and discuss future collaborations,” he said.
The U.S. and Czech Republic food and agriculture sectors share similar challenges that present an abundance of opportunities for cooperation on research, Laborde said, adding that Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the importance of nurturing international ties.
Like LSU, Mendel University has a sizable population of students and faculty with roots in other countries. Many come from central and Eastern Europe.
“Some partners and students from Ukraine registered for this food symposium,” Laborde said. “Even if they can’t be with us, our prayers and thoughts are with them and the people of Ukraine in these difficult times. This is our reminder that only with global collaboration can we address global problems.”
Martina Lichovníková, Mendel University’s vice rector for international and public affairs, said she was happy to see a wide variety of topics being discussed at the symposium — everything from food safety and sustainability to labor issues affecting the industry.
The event included presentations from LSU and Mendel students and faculty about their research projects. In addition to projects focused on food safety issues and nutrition, some emerging trends were discussed, including 3D printing, using insects as a food source and nanoparticles.
Recordings of the presentations are available online at https://bit.ly/35OXQyO.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture