"So many of the global challenges that we are facing relate to areas where Nebraska has unique expertise," said Josh Davis, assistant vice chancellor for global engagement for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
This expertise draws partners from around the world, from higher education and governments to private industry and nonprofit organizations. To ensure maximum impact of those efforts, international activity across IANR's 1,900 faculty and staff and nearly 3,000 students needs to be strategic and coordinated. IANR's Office of Global Engagement strives to meet the need by synthesizing policies, programs and initiatives to create a more internationally connected institution where global perspectives are interwoven throughout education, research and outreach.
In addition to the hundreds of IANR faculty engaged in research collaborations and educational programming in over 120 countries, there is also strategic depth in key areas around the world. For example, engagement in Brazil and partnership with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) continue to strengthen. IANR faculty received joint collaborative research funding this spring for the second consecutive year, and convened Brazilians and Nebraskans across research, extension and nonprofit realms with a FAPESP WEEK symposium last fall.
With over 100 (and counting) undergraduate scholars from Rwanda studying in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and an IANR team on the ground this spring working with local partners developing curriculum in conservation agriculture, Nebraska is helping contribute to agricultural capacity-building in the nation.
The university's multidimensional engagement in China spans teaching, research and extension. While Nebraska students continue to benefit from educational opportunities at Northwest Ag and Forestry University, a dual degree program through the Department of Food Science and Technology, called the "3+1 Program," allows Chinese students to begin their degrees in China and finish them in Nebraska. The first class will arrive this fall. The Nebraska-Yangling Demonstration Farm pools the expertise of research and extension faculty from the two universities, as well as expands economic opportunity for Nebraska-based farm machinery manufacturers and related industry.
"We are working hard to engage strategically with key partners around the world to ensure that Nebraska is playing a role in finding solutions to global challenges," said Davis.
To learn more about IANR's global efforts, visit ianr.unl.edu/global-engagement.