Panel seeks to ensure future global food provision
Globalization discussion to take place Thursday
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 00:09
A panel of A&M AgriLife administrators will convene Thursday to discuss international agriculture as part of The Norman Borlaug Institute’s 2013 Seminar Series.
The program, “Texas A&M AgriLife’s International Direction,” will take a look at the increasing role Texas A&M University will take in a changing world. It will be held at noon in the Agriculture and Life Sciences Building and is open to all students, faculty and staff.
Speakers at the event will include Douglas Steele, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Craig Nessler, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Alan Sams, executive associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Sams said the central purpose of this discussion is to clarify AgriLife’s stance and role in the global community.
“One of the things The Borlaug Institute wanted to do was get the perspective of the top administrators in the AgriLife program,” Sams said. “They want us to talk about where our vision for international engagement is, whether it be in education, research or service.”
All discussions in The Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture’s Fall 2013 series will be focused on the agricultural economies of developing countries and ways in which global food supplies can be increased. The institute’s purpose is to bring research, training and education to developing countries and is joined in their efforts by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture.
Steele said the University’s role is expanding in a shrinking world.
“Globalization is a part of our future,” Steele said. “Our students today live in a global society. The challenge that we have, specifically with Texas A&M as a land grant institution, is our obligation to be a world leader in agricultural research.”
Sams said he believes students, specifically those in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, need to participate in the global community and to experience other cultures
“The world is getting smaller,” Sams said. “In order for people to be successful professionals and leaders in the world, or even just in Texas, they need to have an appreciation for different cultures. They have to have a sense of international commerce, and the things that drive it.”
Kripa Patel, freshman mathematics major, said she believes Texas A&M students should be exposed to a variety of cultures.
“Texas A&M University needs to be involved with these programs because we are able to learn about other cultures while they learn about us,” Patel said. “The information and ideas we share with the world can benefit many people, and not just one country.”
Steele and Sams said all members of the University stand to gain from going to the seminar.
“I think it’s for students, both undergraduate and graduate, who want to understand how their university is reaching out to other parts of the world,” Steele said.
Sams said the event also reveals the University’s priorities.
“I think the staff and faculty will benefit from knowing where the University is going and what’s important to Texas A&M,” Sams said.