Welcome from the Director
The College of Agricultural Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University offered the nation's first baccalaureate degree in 1861. Today, the College is recognized world-wide as a premier institution for agricultural and food systems research, teaching, and extension programs. Faculty in each of our 9 academic departments are active on every continent.
The College of Agricultural Sciences has a long history of international work. Our first international agreement dates back to 1907, when the College started working with a school in southern China. That school evolved into South China Agricultural University, now a leading institution in China. We continue to work closely with our oldest friends--we have a robust exchange with universities across China--while pursuing opportunities with new partners.
Although we only recently launched the Ag2Africa initiative, our work on that continent dates back more than three decades. The College has developed programs with African agricultural, educational and research institutions for joint research, faculty and student exchanges, and other collaborative projects. With funding from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, NSF/Gates Foundation, USDA, USAID, and others, Ag2Africa seeks to: promote sustainable livelihoods by studying and implementing new technologies that will address challenges such as drought, poor soil fertility, pest damage and low crop yields; enhance human-resource capacity in Africa by helping to train and develop leaders, scientists and educators who can solve local problems; build extension and outreach programs so that the latest and best scientific information can be translated to practices in the field; and provide service-learning opportunities for students - both in the United States and Africa - to apply what they've learned and become global citizens.
Our work via our Central and Eastern European Program (CEEP) in the last decade has been instrumental as countries in that region looked to agriculture and rural development as key to democracy building and the transition process to market economies. With support from the Department of State and the Department of Defense, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and numerous private donors, we built new agricultural education programs, outreach facilities, and training programs in a number of universities in the CEE region.
During the past ten years, the College has received more than $18.5 million for international research, teaching and extension programs. The Office of International Programs in the College has been instrumental in providing seed funds, administrative guidance and logistical support for these programs.