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innovATE and TEAM Africa work to stimulate agriculture innovation in developing countries

Jerzy Nowak, second row, third from right, and Kurt Richter, third row, eighth from right, recently traveled to Africa as part of innovATE.

From Nov. 11- 18, 2012, Jerzy Nowak, of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Kurt Richter, of the Office of International Research, Education, and Development, traveled to South Africa to participate in the third Partnership for Africa Tertiary Agricultural Education meeting organized by the TEAM Africa.  The meeting was held at the Stellenbosch University, 40 km from Cape Town.

The primary objectives of their trip were: (1) to learn about the scope of the TEAM Africa agriculture education transformation program and its implementation strategies, and (2) to explore the potential for collaboration between TEAM Africa and Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education (innovATE).

innovATE is a $6.2 million project recently awarded to a Virginia Tech-led consortium of land grant universities (Virginia Tech, Penn State, Tuskegee University, and University of Florida) by the United States Agency for International Development for the development of web-based training and education materials to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector in over 20 developing countries.

The leader award funding will:

  • Carry out analytical work to provide development practitioners with recommendations on good practice and tools to facilitate agricultural education and training system development, including a web-based portal and a Global Learning and Exchange Event planned for summer of 2013.
  • Provide training materials, training, and workshops on agricultural education and training system development.
  • Provide country assessments and program design and reform recommendations to improve the effectiveness of agricultural education and training.

A student focus and gender equity and access considerations are central to the approach.  Country assessments will include gap analysis of both supply and demand for skills at different levels to assist in targeting future investments. There will be ample opportunities for the CALS faculty to participate in the implementation of the innovaATE.

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Global University submissions

The Office of International Research, Education, and Development Outreach is seeking submissions for the next issue of Global University. If you have recently participated in an international program or traveled abroad, consider submitting a brief summary of your activity. Due to space constraints, not every submission will be published. More recent activities will be favored over those occurring more than three months ago.

Submissions should include your name, title, department, and college, as well as a few sentences about the international activity — including the date and location of the event. Include full names of conferences, meetings, papers, etc. Because Global University reaches a wide audience across many fields, avoid language and terminology that may not be familiar to people outside your area of expertise. Photos may be submitted as well. All items are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 13. Send submissions to klequick@vt.edu.

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