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May 2022

Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines. Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania. Peru and Trinidad & Tobago. The list goes on. I continue to be impressed and encouraged by the international activities and achievements being made in our college despite the pandemic-associated headwinds we face. 
Our USAID-supported projects, among them the Food Safety Innovation Lab, the Legume Innovation Lab, and the Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling Innovation Lab continue to generate impact and make a difference in a troubled and food insecure world. Our study abroad programs had a very successful spring break, with 7 programs and more than 100 College of Agriculture students exploring new geographic and cultural vistas. It seems noteworthy that while our college represents less than 10% of the undergraduate population at Purdue, we accounted for 45% of those studying abroad during spring break. Our success can be traced to the dedication of our program leaders as well as IPIA’s study abroad manager, Kara Hartman, who was recently recognized by the university with the much-deserved 2022 Outstanding Leadership in Globalization Award. If you want to gain a sense of how truly impactful and transformational a study abroad experience can be for our students, check out this blog post by Michael Wilcox, who helped to lead one of the spring break trips to Ireland.
Around IPIA, no sooner did we wrap-up the highly successful, year-long Global Agriculture Innovation Forum than we reconvened the International Development Working Group and began planning to bring our third cohort of young African leaders to campus as part of the six-week Mandela Washington Fellows program, which begins on June 8th.  We had an opportunity to renew our college’s longstanding ties to Brazil by welcoming to campus the Brazilian Ambassador to the US Nestor Forster Jr., who visited on March 24th, speaking as part of the Ambassador Distinguished Lecture Series on "Brazilian Diplomacy in the Areas of Technology, Innovation, and Agritech." Less than two weeks later, Kip Tom, former US ambassador to UN FAO joined us for Ag Week, sharing his global experiences and insights during a conversation with President Daniels on April 5th.  You can read about more of the global happenings in the college below, and we invite you to join us in Pfendler Hall on the afternoon of May 11th at 1pm when we will bestow upon Dr. Paul Ebner, from the Department of Animal Sciences, the 2022 Lowell S. Hardin Award for Excellence in International Agriculture.

I wish you all a safe summer, with success in all of your undertakings. Check out the IPIA website, where we maintain up-to-date information on international activities, international travel grants and university guidelines for international travel. If we can help to facilitate or promote your work in any way, please let us know.
Dr. Paul Ebner, from the Department of Animal Sciences, receives the 2022 Lowell S. Hardin Award for Excellence in International Agriculture.
Nestor Foster Jr., Brazilian Ambassador to the US, visited Purdue on March 24th, speaking as part of the Ambassador Distinguished Lecture Series.

John Blanton, Karen Plaut,
Liz Karcher, Christine Wilson

IPIA Dean's Fellow, Liz Karcher,
receives Murphy Award

Congratulations to IPIA Dean’s Fellow and Purdue Animal Sciences (ANSC) Associate Professor Elizabeth Karcher. In a surprise classroom visit in March 2022, Liz was presented with the Charles B. Murphy Award, Purdue’s highest undergraduate teaching honor. Liz is shown with Dean Karen Plaut, Associate Dean Christine Wilson, and ANSC Department Head John Blanton. Since 2008, Liz has taught 2,000+ students in 50+ course offerings, formally advised 75 students, and developed study abroad programs in Europe and Southeast Asia. In her role as a Dean’s Fellow in IPIA this year, Liz is leading strategic planning for CoA study abroad programs. Learn More

International Development
Working Group reconvenes

After more than a year in pandemic hiatus, the IDWG began meeting again, in hybrid form. The International Development Working Group (IDWG) is a collection of faculty, staff and students who share an interest in international development.  Meetings of the group are hosted by IPIA and provide an informal venue to share news and information about projects in progress, issues of shared interest, and opportunities on the horizon. It provides an opportunity to brainstorm about collaborations, projects and proposals, or simply meet and connect with others who share an interest in international development.  Anyone from the campus community is welcome to attend, and each meeting features one or two short presentations on current activities. Past presentations are hyperlinked on the IDWG website

Food Safety Innovation Lab (FSIL) provides MSI-led partnerships for global food safety research 

Levon Esters and Haley Oliver
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety (FSIL), based at Purdue University and Cornell University, recently funded two global food safety research projects in Nepal and Nigeria. The research partnerships, led by two U.S. based Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), addressed in-country food safety economics, the burden of disease, and chemical food hazards. Read more here.

Professor Violet Mugalavai giving an introductory speech and displaying diverse products processed via solar drying and food to food fortification.

Innovation Lab for Food Processing
and Post-Harvest Handling (FPIL)

The Food Processing Training and Incubation Centre at the University of Eldoret in collaboration with Purdue University and Rongo University recently held a successful one-day workshop in September 2021 in Elgeyo Marakwet County. The theme was ‘Empowering Communities in Value Addition of Fruits and Vegetables for Wealth Creation Using the Food Systems Approach'. The training was provided by Food Processing Innovation Lab Co-PI Professor Violet Mugalavai and her team of experts. The training was focused on reducing food losses by using improved and affordable drying and storage technologies for processing food to food fortification (FtFF) products. Read more here.

LAOS -  Applied Nutrition Research
Capacity Building (ANRCB)

As we reach the mid-point in this four-year IPIA-led project supported by USAID and implemented in partnership with Indiana University and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), activities are focusing on training and capacity building to support nutrition and food-security research at three Lao institutions: the Center of Nutrition, the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute, and the Lao University of Health Sciences. In addition to developing and implementing a series of training modules and conducting review of relevant university curricula, a series of six research grants have been awarded to Lao teams. Each team is being paired with US-based mentors who will be providing research guidance over the course of the coming year.

TANZANIA - Expanding Credit Access to Scale-up the Use of Hermetic Storage (CASH-Tz)

The Expanding Credit Access to Scale-up the Use of Hermetic Storage in Tanzania (CASH-Tz) partnership recently held a Stakeholder meeting on March 8, 2022, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The goal was to assess progress in the implementation of this effort. 
Sensitization activities are underway to train farmers who are members of producers’ organizations on the collateral management agreement (CMA) approach. As the harvest season approaches, farmers are being registered to participate in the CMA program. More than 15,000 farmers have been registered on CASH-Tz’s digital platform to facilitate access to loans and hermetic storage technologies. The 3-year effort began in 2021 and is being implemented in the Rukwa and Ruvuma regions of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Contact Dieudonne Baributsa for more information. 

USAID Feed the Future Food Systems
for Nutrition Innovation Lab (FSN-IL)

USAID recently awarded Tufts University management responsibilities for the newly-established Feed the Future Food Systems for Nutrition Innovation Lab (FSN-IL). Purdue’s College of Agriculture will serve as a consortium partner for this five-year project. This summer, a team including Jerry Shively (IPIA and AGEC), Jake Ricker-Gilbert (AGEC), Paul Ebner (ANSC), Peter Hirst (HLA and IPIA), and Gary Burniske (IPIA) will be leading a scoping activity for the new lab on the theme of agricultural innovations to promote food and nutrition security. 

PAKISTAN - Addressing Antibiotic
Resistance in Poultry

The team continues research both in the United States and Pakistan. The latest animal trials indicated that the technologies developed through the project are highly effective in reducing infections. With fewer restrictions on travel, the team is planning exchanges for Fall/Winter 2022. Read more here.
Upper Farfan Catchment – Project Area – Women fetching water for domestic purposes. In the back, livestock, goats and sheep entering the pond  Photo credit:  Wetlands International
EAST AFRICA -  Assessing Resilience of Ethiopian Communities to Climate Driven Conflict Shocks

The program team has been limited in their ability to travel to Ethiopia due to the conflict, however, a truce has been declared between the government and opposing conflict actors, so we intend to initiate field activities in May. A devastating drought has raised tensions for conflict as farmers and herders compete for access to water and scarce land and grazing resources. The short rainy season has just initiated and the team is hopeful that the rains will continue. Gathering and analysis of secondary data has nearly concluded, and the team is in the process of generating a white paper that will share the results of the analysis with key stakeholders. The project has received approvals from IRBs in Ethiopia and at Purdue to move forward with primary data collection in the project zones. The primary data collection instruments are currently being prepared to work with communities and local leaders. The program is on track and the team remains optimistic.

PERU - Lori Hoagland Leads Project on Key Challenges to a Sustainable Future

The Universidad Nacional de San Agustín (UNSA) in Arequipa, Peru and Purdue University through Discovery Park’s Center for the Environment (C4E) partnered in 2018 to work together on key challenges to a sustainable future for the peoples of Arequipa. Since 2018, the project has engaged 137 faculty from UNSA and 61 from Purdue. The first 21 research projects representing phases 1 and 2 were officially completed on March 31st, 2022, and planning for phase 3, to build off efforts in phases 1 and 2, has been initiated. Learn more about the institute’s first 21 projects in the latest newsletter. Read more about the Arequipa Nexus Institute here.

CAMBODIA- Identifying Motivations and Barriers to Adopting Food Safety Practices

The Building Sustainable Supply Chains: A Model of Youth Input Resellers in Kenya project is funded by USAID’s LASER PULSE Consortium and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling (FPIL) led by Purdue University and Kenyan Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). By design, the Youth Reseller Program team aimed to reach gender parity in youth participation. In total, 191 youth (95 women and 96 men) were trained by December 2021. While the focus of the program is to train youth on general business concepts, such as accounting and marketing, as well as post-harvest grain management, the FPIL team made sure to integrate a gender lens into the capacity building activities.

KENYA - Building Sustainable Supply Chains: A Model of Youth Input Resellers

The Building Sustainable Supply Chains: A Model of Youth Input Resellers in Kenya project is funded by USAID’s LASER PULSE Consortium and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling (FPIL) led by Purdue University and Kenyan Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). By design, the Youth Reseller Program team aimed to reach gender parity in youth participation. In total, 191 youth (95 women and 96 men) were trained by December 2021. While the focus of the program is to train youth on general business concepts, such as accounting and marketing, as well as post-harvest grain management, the FPIL team made sure to integrate a gender lens into the capacity building activities.

Study Abroad Strategic Planning Team

The Study Abroad Strategic Planning Team formed in August 2021 and includes: 1 student, 2 staff members, and 3 faculty members. In January 2022, surveys were shared regarding study abroad interest, experiences, and motivations for participation to current College of Ag undergraduate students, faculty, and study abroad alumni that graduated with a BS between 2015-2019. The committee is in the process of drafting a strategic plan from these survey responses that will be finalized in Summer 2022. 

Purdue CoA Students Travel on IPIA Programs Spring Break for First Time in Two Years

Mark Russell and Jeneen Fields lead a study abroad trip to Peru
In March 2022, seven College of Agriculture spring break programs successfully traveled to Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland, Spain, and Hawaii. Over 100-students and 16-program leaders participated, with the Department of Animal Science leading the first study away program to Hawaii, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources traveling to Costa Rica, and a mix of departments visiting Peru, Ireland, and Spain. Read more here.

Welcome 2022-2023 International Ag Student Ambassadors

​An Intern​ational Ag​riculture Ambassador represents International Programs in Agriculture and is an advocate for study​ abroad​. The main responsibilities for ambassadors are to assist with incoming international exchange​​ students, ​promote study abroad, assist with international visitors, give presentations, and increase global awareness.

Ag Systems Mngmt
May 2023
Peru SB 22
Animal Science
May 2025
Costa Rica SB 22
Ag Economics
May 2023
Netherlands Fa 21
May 2024
France Su22
Food Science
May 2024
Italy Sp22
Food Science
May 2025
Costa Rica SB 22, Spring23
Food Science
May 2024
Italy Sp22

Plant Science for Global Food Security (PSGFS) offers an international experience for undergraduate students

The program has received applications from five universities for the first cohort to travel to the Philippines in June and July. The applications were reviewed by an evaluation committee and the first cohort of students will be from Purdue, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Hawaii at Manoa, North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M University. The International Rice Research Institute is preparing to receive the students in June and are assigning scientists to work alongside the students. Preparations for travel include cross cultural and technical sessions with the students, as well as the organization and logistics of traveling. Learn more here.

Graduate Students Awarded Research Funds

The D. Woods Thomas Memorial International Support Fund  is an endowment fund to support College of Agriculture graduate students who will be conducting research or studying in a developing country as part of their program. Below are the 2021-2022 award recipients:
Nate Bowser is an MSC graduate student in the Department of Agronomy. He works with his faculty advisor, Gebisa Ejeta, to conduct research on seed parents for producing desirable hybrids resistant to disease. His grant will support travel to Ethiopia during the fall 2022 harvest season. Wyatt Pracht is an MSC graduate student in the Department of Agriculture Economics. He works with his faculty advisor, Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, to study how to build sustainable supply chains through the employment of youth resellers. His grant will support travel to Kenya in the fall of 2022.  Jeff Stallman is a PhD graduate student in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. He works with his faculty advisor, Cathie Aime, to survey tropical mycology for baseline data on novel fungi (Leotiomycetes). His grant will support travel to collect specimens in Cusuco National Park in Honduras during the summer of 2022. 

The Zamorano Internship
2021-2022 Update

The College of Agriculture hosted 9 interns in Fall of 2021, one in spring of 2022 and the program expects to host 8 -10 in fall of 2022. All interns are nominated by internship coordinators from Zamorano University and selected by a faculty committee at Purdue


Farmer-to-Farmer in Trinidad & Tobago
Transitions to
In-Person Assignments

In January 2022, the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program transitioned back to in-person volunteer assignments in Trinidad and Tobago. Since the COVID-19 pandemic travel limitations, the F2F program has delivered almost 30 virtual programs to support Trinbagonian farmer groups and institutions. The first in-person assignment, focused on providing hands-on training in sheep production to Vision on Mission (VOM), an organization that provides rehabilitation services, empowerment, life skills, employment training and development in agriculture and other areas to individuals in need of reintegration into society. Read more here!

Purdue to host 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) for Young African Leaders

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement. IPIA will host 25 of Africa’s emerging business leaders for a six-week (June 8 - July 16) leadership institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The visit will include field trips to Chicago and Indy as well as area farms and businesses. 

We are looking for coaches to serve as mentors for the Fellows, and volunteers to help guide Fellows in their activities particularly in community service, intercultural activities, and site visits. We will hold a reception on June 17th at 5:00 pm in the Convergence Center at Discovery Park District and people interested in meeting the Fellows should please contact Gary Burniske, grburniske@purdue.edu or visit the Purdue MWF website. Learn more here.

Ready to volunteer? Register today!

Supporting Traditional Cultural Practices in Northern Iraq: Phase Two

Phase 2 aims to use the information gathered from the Phase 1 research to restore agricultural-based cultural practices and build relevant, transferable skills with University of Duhok around both extension and research. Phase 2 activities have the potential to strengthen the generative connections between cultural meaning and agricultural landscapes, and to support community resilience, recovery, and healing over the long-term. 

Broadly, these activities include:
  • Promotion of agricultural production, exchange and inter-community collaboration
  • Culturally Significant Cultivation
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Evidence-based Advocacy
Read more about the project here.

African Swine Fever Risk Assessment Tool Available:

Dr. Paul Ebner, along with Dr. Silvia Tortosa of IESC/TraSa, created and released BioPorc-RD, a self-guided tool for Dominican Republic (DR) pig farmers to assess the risk of African Swine Fever (ASF) coming to their farm. BioPorc-RD is free and available in online, phone, and print formats. Ebner and Tortosa are working with Dr. Darryl Ragland, CVM to deliver an accompanying course for swine veterinarians in the DR on ASF surveillance and diagnosis. The team is also working with ISA University and the DR Ministry of Public Health to create a meat inspection diploma to help develop the numerous new meat inspectors that will be needed when the new DR meat inspection law comes into effect. Read more here!

International Travel Grants

IPIA will offer 20 IPIA-sponsored International Travel Grants for fiscal year July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023. We will allocate up to 10 awards for faculty participation in activities/events occurring between July 1-December 31, 2022. Another 10 awards will be allocated for travel between January 1-June 30, 2023. Details and application instructions are available here.
Are you thinking globally? IPIA is dedicated to assisting and facilitating international experiences, collaborative relationships and projects for the Purdue College of Agriculture. Learn more about IPIA and the services we offer to faculty and staff, international visitors, and graduate students.

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