UWRF reaches worldwide
April 4, 2014
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has engaged internationally for decades, but in recent years, there has been a new level of excitement and growth. Dale Gallenberg, dean of the UWRF College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, believes there are many unique opportunities for faculty and students to be involved.
“There is great potential for students and faculty through partnerships with universities, government agencies and private industries,” Gallenberg said. “Like so many things domestically, the growth of our international work is built around relationships. By investing time and energy, we have been able to accomplish a lot through face-to-face discussions and use of technology.”
As part of the University’s five-year plan, there was an emphasis on global connections. Carolyn Brady, the international partnerships coordinator, has traveled to China, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to build relationships by participating in the DATCP’s international activities.
“UW-River Falls prides itself on enhancing academic opportunities. By doing good work, we believe additional doors will continue to open,” Gallenberg said. “We are able to make strategic choices and offer programming that will be sustaining in the future.”
A partnership with the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program also provides great benefits at UWRF by welcoming visiting students.
“The Brazil program allows their students to come here to enrich our campus and share with us their international perspective,” Brady said. “Exchanges are a win-win. Wisconsin’s most valuable ambassadors are our visiting students and faculty to other countries.”
Brady first reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) in 2011 to learn more about additional opportunities that may exist at World Dairy Expo. The International Trade Team’s Lisa Stout provided her contacts at the show and with visitors from other countries. The partnership between UWRF and DATCP has grown from that first phone call.
“UW-River Falls enrolls more dairy science students than any other university in Wisconsin and is recognized nationwide for its top-notch department,” Brady said. “The World Dairy Expo was a natural fit for us to share with international visitors about what our campus could offer to students and companies.”
Brady has focused her work on increasing UWRF’s presence outside the country to attract international students and create opportunities. UWRF and DATCP have traveled together to China, Mexico and Brazil to promote Wisconsin’s dairy industry. Recently Brady traveled to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia with DATCP’s Jennifer Lu on a fact-finding mission.
UWRF faculty have taught at China Agricultural University. Dr. Sylvia Kehoe, an associate professor of dairy science at UWRF, has traveled to China twice to share her perspectives and knowledge. She taught a two-week course there in dairy nutrition and management.
These students will work in the dairy industry in the future. With China’s rapidly growing dairy industry, there are many opportunities for America’s Dairyland and UWRF students to work in the global business of agriculture.
“China has the purchased equipment, genetics and the feed, but what they need is the technical knowledge on how to use the equipment, the genetics and feed as well as manage the farm,” Kehoe said. “We continue to develop the next steps for our partnership with the China Agricultural University, including hosting faculty and students this fall at UW-River Falls and the World Dairy Expo.”
When planning for the future, Brady notes it is important to grow the international programming carefully to meet the University objectives and needs of the students while strengthening academic programs.
“Our goal is to grow Wisconsin’s agricultural presence globally. Through our work abroad, we are able to help campuses connect to international opportunities and gain knowledge and understanding of global agricultural issues,” said Jennifer Lu, Economic Development Consultant at DATCP. “By sharing our network and making initial contacts, we hope more campuses will take advantage of these opportunities and boost the success of Wisconsin’s agricultural industry.”
For more information about services available from DATCP’s International Trade Team, contact 1-800-462-5237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.