University News

Brazilian Ag Cohort to Visit WIU as Part of FIPSE Program

March 25, 2002


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MACOMB, IL -- As part of a project supported by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) in the U.S. Department of Education, 10 agriculture faculty members from two Brazilian universities will be on the Western Illinois University campus
April 19-21.

WIU, along with partners Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, AR), Southeastern Community College (Burlington, IA) and Jackson State Community College (Jackson, TN), will host the delegates from the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Botucatu, Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa (Parana, Brazil), April 14-21. WIU agriculture chair and consortium director Danny Terry will serve as the group's guide. Last year,WIU and the partner institutions received a four-year, $208,602 FIPSE grant for the Consortium for International Advancement and Achievement.

A group of WIU agriculture and business faculty traveled to the Brazilian institutions during the Fall 2001 semester to sign the formal agreement as well as tour the universities and agriculture production facilities. A group of 20 students -- nine from WIU -- will head to Brazil in June for an intensive five-week educational experience.

"This project allows us to train a new generation of students in the field of precision agriculture," Terry explained. "As other countries expand their role in the world markets, it's imperative that agriculture students from the United States understand the challenges of the future. Our mission is education as well as ensuring the future success of American agriculture."

When the 10 Brazilian delegates arrive on U.S. soil next month, they will visit each institution's agriculture department and tour regional agriculture facilities, including the WIU farm and larger scale operations.

"We are quite excited about the implications of this program," Terry said. "The project will respond directly to the real-time needs of the agricultural industry and address issues and challenges facing agriculture today. Our students will come out of our program with the global experiences and knowledge necessary to succeed in today's agricultural markets."

In addition to the six partner universities, Rotary International and Deere & Company are also co sponsors of the consortium.

For more information, contact Terry at 309/298-1080 or visit the FIPSE website at www.ed.gov/FIPSE.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (DR-Shinberger@wiu.edu)
Office of University Communications & Marketing