(11/15/22) BATON ROUGE, La. — The collaboration between the LSU AgCenter and universities in Central Europe continues to grow and is showing some amazing results.
What began as a partnership with Mendel University in the Czech Republic in 2014 as part of the AgCenter’s new international strategy has now added a third university to the mix and is currently planning an international symposium, said Ivana Tregenza, associate director of the LSU AgCenter Global Network.
“The partnership with University of Life Sciences in Warsaw, Poland, started a couple of years later as a natural progression of the AgCenter’s engagement in the region,” Tregenza said.
The relationship resulted in a joint patent with Qinglin Wu, professor in the AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources, within its first five years of existence, she said.
“Additionally, there are two joint courses offered to LSU College of Agriculture students connecting them with their Mendel University counterparts in real time and promoting international cooperation on school projects,” Tregenza said.
To make this a mutual learning experience, there has been an exchange of students and professors among the universities, she said.
The partnership has enabled students at the three partner universities to learn best practices from one another, which elevates the levels of teaching and research.
The next step in the partnership is an international meeting in a hybrid format to reach an even wider audience, said AgCenter food safety specialist Achyut Adhikari.
“The LSU, Mendel University and the University of Life Sciences in Warsaw, Poland Food Symposium will take place at LSU from March 20 to 24, 2023,” Adhikari said. “The meeting will focus on ‘Transatlantic Cooperation for Food System Adaptation and Resilience from Fields to Consumers.’”
Topics to be covered during the symposium are novel approaches on food safety and security, trends in biotechnology, innovation in teaching food systems and economic benefits with an emphasis on small-scale production.
During the student session, discussions will center around new trends in food producing disciplines, including farm production and food production. There will also be discussions on food systems and human nutrition.
Tregenza said the symposium is a wonderful platform to identify synergies in research, create new multi-disciplinary international research teams and incorporate innovation in teaching.
“Additionally, one day of the meeting will be dedicated solely to student presentations and posters, which will provide an opportunity for all students to gain professional experience within an international venue and increase skills for their professional careers,” she said.
In addition to professors coming to LSU, Adhikari has also received Erasmus+ funding to travel to Poland and teach food safety classes.
“That visit initiated the collaboration between the LSU AgCenter, Mendel University and Warsaw University of Life Sciences,” Adhikari said.
LSU AgCenter food safety specialist Achyut Adhikari, center, speaks with faculty at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland during his recent teaching assignment there as part of the collaboration between the LSU AgCenter and universities in Central Europe. Photo provided
LSU AgCenter food safety specialist Achyut Adhikari, center, pictured with faculty members of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland during his recent teaching assignment there. Photo provided
Elżbieta Hać-Szymańczuk, of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland, was a visiting faculty at LSU AgCenter food safety specialist Achyut Adhikari’s lab from April to August this year. Photo provided